IPH Chief Executive Dr Liz Mitchell said
“Obesity represents a very significant challenge to governments seeking to improve health and wellbeing on the island of Ireland. I am delighted to welcome the publication of ‘A Healthy Weight for Ireland – Obesity Policy and Action Plan’, which together with Northern Ireland’s ‘A Fitter Future for All’ strategy , sets a roadmap for increasing the numbers of children and adults enjoying a healthy weight.
IPH were a member of the Steering Group tasked with developing the policy and led on the 3 stage consultation process including producing a report for the Department on the responses.
IPH is engaged in a number of ongoing programmes that will support the implementation of the policy and action plan:
- IPH, together with ‘Safefood’, is leading on work examining the economic impact of childhood obesity as part of the European ‘Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity (JANPA)’, a collaboration of 28 countries.
- IPH hosts the Obesity Hub – a free online resource for sourcing information on obesity-related policies, projects, reports and studies.
- Since 2011 IPH have been building the evidence base with regard to taxing sugary drinks to support the work of the Departments of Health on the island.
IPH is particularly pleased to see the focus on tackling inequalities in access to affordable healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.
Dr Mitchell concluded:
“We look forward to supporting the implementation of this policy and to reaping the benefits from both all-island and European collaboration to address the impact of obesity”.