Leading health experts say obesity is costing the Irish economy more than €1bn every year.
That is according to data being examined at a conference at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Dublin today.
More than 60% of Irish people are now overweight or obese, an issue delegates say is causing a number of diseases including diabetes, heart disease and multiple types of cancer.
Dr Anne Dee, Public Health Specialist in Limerick, said it is also having a significant impact on the taxpayer.
Dr Dee said: "We have two types of costs, the indirect costs are larger than the direct costs and they make up about three-quarters of a billion euro.
"The remainder are direct healthcare costs and they make up about 3% of our total healthcare spend which is what other European countries have found as well.
"It is a large and growing proportion of the healthcare budget."