Real Health Podcast: The truth about obesity in Ireland with Professor Donal O’Shea

Jan 7, 2023

n this week’s episode of Real Health, we’re discussing obesity in Ireland, the main causes of the disease and what treatments are available for it.

Last month, the World Health Organisation released a report that said obesity has reached “epidemic proportions” in Europe.

It showed that the disease is causing 200,000 cancer cases and 1.2 million deaths a year.

Real Health Podcast: The truth about obesity in Ireland with Professor Donal O’Shea

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Here in Ireland, over six in 10 adults are overweight or obese and we rank ninth in a table of 53 countries for obesity.

To discuss obesity and the impact it has on our health, I’m joined by Donal O’Shea, HSE Clinical lead for Obesity.

Donal says for adults who have severe and complex obesity, the treatment is not to eat less and move more. “You develop obesity because you have a genetic predisposition, and you get too much energy from the environment for those genes...what we have now is surgery as a very effective evidence-based treatment and we now have medication that’s coming and is now licensed in Europe.”

We also discuss calories appearing on restaurant menus, something Donal says can have a positive impact on people’s health: “The calories on menu boards...it works. It’s proven to impact by about 100 calories per purchase for 30pc of people who are looking at the menu. That’s a massive reach at population level. Only vaccination would have that kind of population reach as a health measure.”

For more episodes, tips and advice from the show just go to: https://www.independent.ie/podcasts/the-real-health-podcast/

And you can get in touch - I’m @KarlHenryPT on Instagram and realhealth@independent.ie.

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The Real Health podcast is in association with Laya Healthcare.

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