The HSE has said that 60 per cent of Irish adults and 20 per cent of children are currently overweight or obese.
A free virtual event 'Overweight and Obesity...Lets Talk!' will look to share the science behind obesity and give practical information to help people to manage and understand behaviours related to weight.
The event will also continue to break the stigma of obesity through sharing lived experiences and explore conversations about weight and health in healthcare settings. The event is open to everyone with an interest in the area, including the general public, clinicians and healthcare professionals.
The event, a collaboration between the HSE Obesity Management Clinical Programme, the Association for the Study of Obesity in Ireland (ASOI) and the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO) runs from 3pm-7pm on Thursday. It will see over 1,200 participants joining different seminars over the duration of the event.
Currently, 60 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children in Ireland are overweight or obese.
Patient centred apporach
Speaking about the event, Susie Birney, executive director ICPO, said: “I am delighted to see the continuation of a patient centred approach with the involvement of the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity in planning this event. It is clear that hearing the lived experience of those who live with obesity, combined with the science and the research, is an impactful approach for discussing health and weight and also towards addressing the stigma which comes with this disease.”
Professor Donal O’Shea, HSE National Clinical Lead for Obesity, said: “Obesity is a complex chronic disease for which there are a lot of different causes. Many people believe that obesity is a lifestyle choice which is due to poor self-discipline and lack of motivation, but that is just not the case. The reality is that your body tries to protect its fat stores to maintain your highest weight — meaning that managing obesity is a lifelong process. Genetics are increasingly recognised to be a major contributor to body weight.”