'Very unfair' that Ireland has highest obesity rate, yet poorest access to treatment

'Very unfair' that Ireland has highest obesity rate, yet poorest access to treatment
Image supplied by the World Obesity Federation

There are calls for the HSE to treat obesity as a disease.

Ireland has the highest rate of obesity in the EU with one in four adults officially obese - more than one million adults.

Currently, obesity treatments are available here but they are not funded by the Government.

Consultant bariatric surgeon, professor Helen Heneghan has called on the Department of Health to establish an obesity programme, and to properly invest in it.

"We have the poorest access in the whole of Europe - and even really in the Western world - to obesity treatments, which we have available to us but they're just not funded or available to people in Ireland.

"That's very unfair."

Today marks the World Obesity Day, intended to raise awareness of the condition and ways to treat it.

President of the World Obesity Federation Dr Donna Ryan has said in The Lancet that at the heart of the stigma around obesity is a failure to recognise obesity as a disease and the complexities of obesity.

“The common narrative around obesity is one that focuses on the disease being a result of poor choices, ignoring the multitude of factors; social, commercial and others, that contribute to this epidemic,” said Dr Ryan.

“This failure to recognise obesity as a chronic disease means that those living with obesity are subject to stigma, even from health professionals who should and must know better.”

More on this topic

Ireland spends least across EU on obesity treatmentIreland spends least across EU on obesity treatment

Research strengthens link between maternal obesity and the impact on offspringResearch strengthens link between maternal obesity and the impact on offspring

Obesity levels too high as 1 in 6 children are overweightObesity levels too high as 1 in 6 children are overweight

One in six school children classed as overweight or obese, research showsOne in six school children classed as overweight or obese, research shows


More in this Section

Emergency services respond to flash floods in Douglas and Cork cityEmergency services respond to flash floods in Douglas and Cork city

Rape trial hears of ‘help me’, ‘I’m hurt badly’ text messagesRape trial hears of ‘help me’, ‘I’m hurt badly’ text messages

M8 closed between Mitchelstown and Cahir due to flooding; Reports of localised flooding elsewhereM8 closed between Mitchelstown and Cahir due to flooding; Reports of localised flooding elsewhere

Varadkar’s approval rating tops 50% as Fine Gael maintain opinion poll leadVaradkar’s approval rating tops 50% as Fine Gael maintain opinion poll lead


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner