Politicians join forces to tackle weighty issue

Ten TDs and Senators to participate in safefood’s weight loss website, Weigh2live

Tuesday 28 September, 2010. A cross-party group of TDs and Senators today announced their participation in Weigh2Live, safefood’s free weight loss website, in an attempt to continue to shed some weight and improve their lifestyles. 

Ten politicians have signed up to participate in the Weigh2Live programme, including Senators David Norris, Phil Prendergast, Jerry Buttimer and Denis O’Donovan and TDs, Fergus O’Dowd, Eamon Scanlon, Jimmy Devins, John O’Mahony, Seán Connick and Aengus Ó Snodaigh. Today’s announcement builds on the success of a group of politicians participating in the RTE television show, Operation Transformation, earlier this year.

“Excess body weight and obesity is a significant public health issue in Ireland today. Politicians, as well as the public, need to be aware of the dangers associated with being overweight. Losing weight should be a long-term goal and not just about fad diets. By coming together as a group and with one another’s support, even across party lines, we can work with Weigh2Live towards a common aim - to lose weight and become more aware of our diet and exercise,” said Senator David Norris. “As politicians we have a role in promoting public health in Ireland, including addressing the issue of overweight and this starts at our own table.”

Developed by experts at safefood and the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute (INDI), Weigh2live provides free, independent advice on how to lose weight in a healthy way. The Weigh2Live website includes information on healthy eating, physical activity and staying motivated. It also provides practical tools for planning and tracking your progress such as a BMI calculator and food and physical activity diaries.

Since its launch in December last year, Weigh2Live has had 22,000 people sign-up to participate in the programme. “Working long hours, the stress of balancing a job with finding time to fit in exercise and eating at irregular times are all issues facing many people right across society today,” added Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood. “It’s wonderful to see this group of well-known faces in Irish politics agreeing to participate in Weigh2Live. Not only will this group hopefully lose weight and become healthier, they are sending out the message to people across the island that reaching a healthy weight is extremely important and achievable. With over 60% of the Irish population overweight or obese¹, many people battle with weight loss and being overweight can increase the risk of common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers, in addition to psychological issues. ”

The group of TDs and Senators will be encouraged to use the Weigh2Live website and participate on the Weigh2Live Facebook page and connect with others trying to lose weight.

For more information on healthy weight loss and to receive a free information leaflet, visit weigh2live.safefood.eu, or call the safefood helpline on 1850 404 567.

-ENDS-

For further information please contact

Kate FitzGerald/Aoife McDonald, WHPR, 086 3873083 (Kate) and 087 4100777 (Aoife)

or Dermot Moriarty, safefood, Tel: (086) 3811034

References

  1. www.slan06.ie/SLAN2007MainReport.pdf