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Quarter of all patients hospitalised with obesity in Ireland are children under 16

Some 26 of the total of 207 patients were kids under the age of 16

Off the scales

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

More than 200 people were hospitalised by obesity in Ireland last year, new figures reveal.

Some 26 of the total of 207 patients were children under the age of 16, seven were aged between 16 and 24, a further 61 were aged between 25 and 44, while the remaining 113 were over 45.

The majority of those who required hospital treatment, 124, were female while 83 were male.

The Freedom of Information figures that were released by the HSE to Newstalk show that just 37 per cent of Irish people are a normal weight, 37 per cent are considered overweight and the remaining 23 per cent are obese.

Ireland is one of the fattest countries in Europe and a study by UCC found that obesity costs the nation €1.13 billion annually.

“Some of the conditions associated with obesity are well known - like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” Susie Birney, Executive Director for the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity, explained to Newstalk.

“But there’s quite a few that aren’t commonly spoken about and you have the likes of polycystic ovarian cancer syndrome, you have sleep apnea, you have endometrial cancer has quite a high prevalence among the obese.”

She added that it is key that people who want to lose weight are given all the support they need

“They will have tried and tested probably everything for their weight over the years,” she continued.

“And people see it as ‘they failed at diets’ - it’s not, it’s just they haven’t found the right treatment.

“If you live with obesity it’s a chronic relapsing disease that unfortunately you have for life.”

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