Obesity, if not checked, is all set to assume epidemic proportions in Ireland in the coming years. As per World Health Organization’s latest predictions, three out of every four men and two out of three women will be overweight by 2030. A leading health expert has warned that that the crisis could be as bad as HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and cholera in the 1800s.
These forecasts draw attention to the fact that the present efforts to promote healthier eating and initiatives directed towards curbing the intake of fat and sugar will have little effect as the rates of overweight and obesity all over Europe will continue to go higher.
According to WHO predictions, “almost all adults” in some of Europe’s worst-performing countries, including Ireland, will be overweight within the coming 15 years. United Kingdom will remain in the top third of European nations, in terms of rates of overweight and obesity.
Anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) ranging between 25 and 29.9 is classified as overweight while those with a BMI greater than 30 are out under the obese category. As per the latest set of predictions, 74% men and 64% women will be overweight by 2030, as compared to 70% and 59% respectively in 2010. Ireland, however, will be hit harder as the rate of overweight men and women touch 89% and 85% respectively. Out of these, 36% men and 30% women will be obese.
“We’re on course to be the fattest country inEurope in by 2030. We must pay attention and we must take action,” said Professor Donal O’Shea, head of weight management services at St Colmcille’s and at St Vincent’s Hospital and co-chair of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Policy Group on Obesity.
“We have an environment where kids leave school for lunch and they go to a garage forecourt and they literally walk down an aisle of high fat, high salt, high sugar foods to buy a chicken fillet roll or breakfast roll that contains their total daily calorie requirements and we know it’s harming.
These predictions, warns Prof O’Shea, require immediate attention to make sure that Ireland does not become the fattest country in Europe in the coming 15 years.