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The plan is called “A Healthy Weight for Ireland – Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016- 2025”.
Speaking to journalists at the launch, Minister for Health Simon Harris said the details of the fund would be worked out as part of the “estimates process for 2017”, and he had no figures for it yet.
Also speaking to reporters at the launch, Prof Donal O’Shea said that the clinical lead for obesity should be appointed in the HSE “within months”. Minister Harris said that the appointment would be a priority.
The Minister told the news conference that in recent years, levels of overweight and obesity have increased “dramatically” with 60 per cent of adults and one in four children in Ireland either overweight or obese.
“While lifestyle choices are made by individuals and families, Government can and must help to empower people make these healthy choices,” said Minister Harris.
“We have a responsibility to influence the environment and conditions which help people to have their desired quality of life and enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential.”
The Minister told the news conference that recent successes in combating problems associated with smoking show how public health initiatives could have significant impact on the nation’s health.
The 60 actions within the document include new national healthy eating guidelines, calorie posting legislation, development of a nutrition policy and support for introduction of a sugar levy to encourage a reduction in the rates of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Progress on implementation of the obesity policy and action plan will be reported to the Healthy Ireland Cross Sectoral Group by the Department of Health.
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