Body Weight and Eating Habits in 5-12-Year Old Irish Children
A shared goal of safefood and the Health Service Executive (HSE) is to improve the health of the Irish population. One of the greatest public health threats facing all developed countries today, including the island of Ireland, is obesity. It is crucial that the various sectors and disciplines in the country work together to successfully deal with this growing issue. The Department of Health and Children (DoHC) published a strategy for obesity in 2005 which identified children and young people as a vulnerable, at-risk group. Both safefood and the HSE recognise the growing trend towards obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary habits in Ireland. Both organisations have been actively engaged in addressing the obesity epidemic. A number of initiatives targeted at school-aged children have already been established. These include the â€˜Little Stepsâ€™ mass media campaign (www.littlesteps.eu) â€“ a campaign aimed at supporting parents/guardians of children, as well as various school-based initiatives and relevant training programmes for health professionals.