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Fitness & Health

13th Jun 2018

Nearly half of Irish people class themselves as overweight

Rudi Kinsella


Not a good sign at all…

A new survey commissioned by Royal London has revealed that 42% of Irish people classify themselves as “overweight”. On top of that, a further 5% consider themselves to be “obese”.

The survey was conducted by iReach and commissioned by Royal London, a leading protection specialist.

As part of the survey, 1,000 Irish people around the country were asked how they would describe both their weight and their health.

The survey also showed that more women than men consider themselves “unhealthy”, the figures being 37% and 32% respectively.

Ireland has recently implemented a sugar tax, increasing the price of all sugar-filled soft drinks, so action is being taken already to counteract these negative statistics.

Speaking about the findings, Colette Houton, Underwriting and Claims Lead at Royal London, said: “It may be hard to believe that nearly half of those surveyed described themselves as either ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ given the upward trend in healthy lifestyles in Ireland.

“However, when compared with recent official data from the 2017 Healthy Ireland Survey, which stated that 62% of the Irish population are now either overweight or obese, it would indicate a level of understatement by our survey respondents.

“Whether or not a person is aware of their weight classification, there’s no denying that being overweight or obese has an impact on their wellness and could be putting their overall health at risk. People classed as obese are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from many chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes, mental ill-health and respiratory problems.

“Looking at the current obesity statistics, it’s likely that Ireland will face a dramatic increase in chronic diseases like these in the future. In addition to the direct effects on the individual involved, this issue has wider socio-economic implications, such as a reduction of overall national quality of life and productivity, along with a strain on health services, which reportedly cost economies millions every year.”

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