One in four Irish children now overweight or obese, new campaign launched today

A new campaign is being launched today to tackle childhood obesity.

It is being organised by the Department of Health amid growing concern over our children's health.

A Safe Food Ireland survey recently found that one in four children in Ireland is now overweight or obese.

Minister of State Catherine Byrne says they've developed a five-year plan to create a healthier future.

She said: "Well we are looking particularly at young children from the age of 6 months up to the age of 12 at the moment.

In Ireland alone, we have one of the highest rates of obesity particularly in young children which is a very worrying trend."

Vera Baker is a nutritionist and childcare provider with Tir Na Nog Creche in Dublin.

She says we need to completely change our attitude to food.

She said: "Something that we practice is never using food as either a threat or a reward.

"We would never say to a child 'if you eat up all your dinner you can have such and such' or if you eat all your vegetabes you can have a biscuit.'

We need to take all of that out, food is not a treat it's not a threat, it's nutrition, it's fuel, it's energy and that is the way we need to start looking at food."

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