War on obesity

EVEN though we all know we face huge social and health problems because of soaring obesity rates, we seem unable to tackle the crisis in a meaningful way.

We seem unable to change lifestyles, or else are indifferent to the consequences of not doing so. We seem unwilling to confront the food and drink producers who undermine individual health and, ultimately, public health services.

In a version of the property-rights issues coming to the fore in our housing crisis, we seem happy to allow conglomerates to peddle salt- and sugar-rich foods, which, unless used in the most moderate way, are ruinous to health.

Research just published by The Lancet has warned that, by 2025, the level of obesity among women in Ireland will be the second-highest in Europe. Responding to the report, Professor Donal O’Shea, the chair of the Royal College of Physicians’ policy group on obesity, said we need to do much, much more to confront the epidemic. But we all know that, and the great mystery is why we are so very complacent about a killer loose in our homes and communities.


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