THEY’RE more used to fighting each other in the Dáil and Seanad but a group of cross-party politicians have found a common goal.
A group of TDs and senators have agreed to participate in a weight-loss challenge aimed at promoting efforts to tackle obesity.
Members of the group include Junior Minister Sean Connick, deputies Fergus O’Dowd, Eamon Scanlon, Jimmy Devins, John O’Mahony and Aengus O Snodaigh, and senators David Norris, Denis O’Donovan, Phil Prendergast and Jerry Buttimer.
The challenge is being organised by Safefood, a North-South body responsible for the promotion of food safety on the island of Ireland.
The politicians have agreed to use Weigh2Live (weigh2live.safefood.eu), Safefood’s free weight-loss website, in an attempt to continue to shed some weight and improve their lifestyles.
Developed by experts at safefood and the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, the website provides free, independent advice on how to lose weight in a healthy way.
It includes information on healthy eating, physical activity and staying motivated, and provides practical tools for planning and tracking one’s progress such as a body-mass index calculator and food and physical activity diaries.
Speaking at the announcement yesterday, Senator David Norris said obesity was a significant public health issue.
"Politicians, as well as the public, need to be aware of the dangers associated with being overweight.
"Losing weight should be a long-term goal and not just about fad diets," said Mr Norris.
"As politicians we have a role in promoting public health in Ireland, including addressing the issue of overweight, and this starts at our own table.
"By coming together as a group and with one another’s support, even across party lines, we can work with Weigh2Live towards a common aim – to lose weight and become more aware of our diet and exercise."
The chief executive of Safefood, Martin Higgins, welcomed the decision of the politicians to participate.
"It’s wonderful to see this group of well-known faces in Irish politics agreeing to participate in Weigh2Live," he said.
For more information on healthy weight loss and to receive a free information leaflet, visit weigh2live.safefood.eu, or call 1850 404 567.