Safefood is urging parents are being urged to make practical changes to everyday lifestyle habits such as portion sizes, drinks and screen time to make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of children and combat the island’s high levels of childhood overweight and obesity.
What does research tell us?
It is important that mothers are supported to continue to breastfeed when they go back to work. The WHO, Department of Health and HSE recommend that children are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
October 18 2011
A one-stop information source on how to get involved in physical activity in Ireland
The HSE has launched a dynamic new website – www.getirelandactive.ie – a one stop information source on how to get involved in physical activity in Ireland.
With three out of four Irish adults(1) and four out of five Irish children(2) not sufficiently active for health benefits the website is designed to encourage people to become more active by:
A special feature of the website is the well designed search facility which allows users to search for activities throughout Ireland by type of activity, date, age group, ability or cost. There is a section for event organisers, where they can promote their activity to the online audience. No matter what age or ability level, there is something for everybody to get involved in. With individual and team sports and family friendly activities listed, there is a wide range of healthy and fun activities to chose from.
The HSE is working in partnership with all of the Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) to moderate and promote the site, which will ensure that a comprehensive list of physical activity opportunities at county, region and national level will be available and updated regularly on the site.
The website was developed by the Get Ireland Active Steering Group which includes the HSE, Irish Sports Council, the Irish Heart Foundation, Local Sports Partnerships, National Governing Bodies of Sport, Department of Education & Science, CARA, the HSE Community Games and Go for Life. This expert group has worked to ensure getirelandactive.ie attracts the public to engage in a physical activity to benefit their health.
Physical inactivity is a risk factor for a broad range of chronic illnesses including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Speaking at the launch of the website, Dr. Nazih Eldin, HSE Lead on Obesity said that “being physically active can reduce the chances of developing one of these diseases by up to 50% as well a reducing the risk of premature death by 20-30%. On average, an inactive person spends more time in hospital and visits their GP more often than some who is active. Getting more people, more active everyday has an important role to play in reducing the levels of chronic illness and improving health and well-being overall.”
The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland were published in 2009. These guidelines set out the recommended levels of physical activity for health benefit:
“In addition to reducing the risk of chronic illness, being physically active regularly can lower the risk of falls and broken bones for older people, as well as reducing depression and improving cognitive function” said Dr. Eldin.
At the launch Mr. Ronan Scully, a leader with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation, spoke about how being physically active helped him reach and maintain his target weight during the series: “As a younger man I was very active and into sport, but as work and family commitments grew I became less active and began to gain weight. Through Operation Transformation, I’ve not only lost weight but have also learned a habit that will help me maintain that weight loss – being physically active regularly. ”
Speaking about the website Mr. John Treacy, Chairman of Irish Sports Council said “We can all benefit from being more active, however some people are unsure where to go for information and support, this web site offers everything you need to start and to become more active. Uniquely it also allows organisers and providers of events and activities to promote what they are offering in one place”
www.getirelandactive.ie is a useful resource for everyone interested in becoming more active, no matter what age or ability level, as well as those interested in promoting physical activity in Ireland.