HSE online event to raise awareness and break the stigma around Overweight and Obesity

HSE Press Release: Tuesday, 5th October 2021

- Currently 60% of adults and 20% children living with overweight or obesity in Ireland -

- Register for free event online here -

On Thursday (7th October 2021), the HSE is hosting a free virtual event Overweight and Obesity...Lets Talk! to share the science behind obesity and give practical information to help people to manage and understand behaviours related to weight. It 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% of adults and 20% children have overweight and obesity in Ireland.

Speaking about the event, Susie Birney, Executive Director ICPO, Patient Representative ASOI 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."

Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan, who will open the event said, “2021 has been an important year for obesity in Ireland. World Obesity Day marked the launch of the HSE Model of Care for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Ireland. This model of care sets out how the healthcare for children, young people and adults living with overweight and obesity in Ireland should be organised and resourced, now and in the future. When implemented, the Model of Care will ensure that an end-to-end approach is adopted, defining the way health services are developed over time. It will ensure that the right care is delivered to individuals with overweight and obesity at the right time and in the right place, in line with Sláintecare health and social care service reforms.”

Professor Donal O’Shea, HSE National Clinical Lead for Obesity explains, “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.”

Sarah O’Brien, National Lead, Healthy Eating & Active Living Programme, HSE Health & Wellbeing said, “The HSE National Service Plan 2021 seeks to take forward plans to implement the end-to-end Obesity Model of Care with a joined up approach towards delivering weight management and obesity treatment. A structured programme for Chronic Disease Management and Prevention for all General Medical/GP visit card patients will be introduced overtime.  Investment in community services will see community weight management services, delivered by dietitians, available in many areas. Training for healthcare staff to help them talk with patients living with overweight and obesity about health lifestyles will be available as part of Making Every Contact Count by the end of the year.”

For more information or to register see https://ims.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YCSZ8Fb-Qt6Lgb8v5a71JA

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Last updated on: 05 / 10 / 2021