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HSE Welcomes New Healthy Eating for Life Resources

· Eat according to the servings recommended and you will meet your nutritional needs, in a healthy way.

· Increase your physical activity levels and you have the recipe for a healthier way of life for you and your family.

· Small changes can make a big difference.

· Start today!

The HSE welcomes the new Healthy Eating for Life resources being launched Tuesday December 6th by Minister for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy. The new guidelines and resources will provide practical support for individuals and families to make healthier food choices and to ultimately improve their health and wellbeing.

The resources include an updated food pyramid accompanied by daily meal plans for different age groups and lifestyles as well as guidelines on portion sizes.

By using the food pyramid as a guide in making daily food choices and when shopping, it will help us eat a wide variety of nourishing foods, and provide us with the correct balance of energy and nutrients needed to stay healthy. We encourage individuals to avoid foods high in fat, salt and sugar (from the top shelf) as these food and drinks are not needed for good health. Eat more vegetables, salad and fruit by having these as half your plate at meals and snacks. The food pyramid can be used as a guide to choose correct serving sizes. When it comes to healthy eating, size matters.

The HSE’s National Lead for Healthy Eating and Active Living, Sarah O’Brien said, “The new Healthy Eating for Life resources provide us with a consistent and evidence-based approach to healthy eating advice. The guidelines and resources were developed by the Department of Health and a range of key stakeholders. They are based on best national and international scientific evidence on healthy diets. Research shows that excess consumption of foods high in fats, salt and sugar as well as low levels of vegetables and fruit intake, plays a significant role in increasing our risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Staff throughout the HSE will be using these resources to encourage us all to eat more healthily.”

Speaking at the launch, Health and Wellbeing’s National Dietetic Advisor, Margaret O’ Neill said, “The food we eat is one of the most important risk factors effecting our health and wellbeing. Food has the capacity to keep you healthy and well. It can also help to make you better if you are sick. We know that unfortunately we are faced with the fact in Ireland that two out of every three adults and one in four children are overweight or obese. Helping people to follow the Healthy Food for Life resources will be key to helping manage this rise in overweight and obesity. The resources will also help people manage their chronic disease such as diabetes and prevent others from getting these conditions.”

The guidelines have been prepared for the entire population. The messages are simple:

· Eat according to the servings recommended and you will meet your nutritional needs, in a healthy way.

· Increase your physical activity levels and you have the recipe for a healthier way of life for you and your family.

· Small changes can make a big difference.

· Start today!

Margaret O’Neill advises, “Making healthier choices will impact on the whole family. We know from recent surveys on our eating patterns that only one in four of us meet our five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Our fibre intakes are low and our portion sizes have increased hugely over the past few years - leading to an increased overconsumption of calories. The food choices we are making, are high in fat, salt and sugar and are not needed to maintain good health. Four out of every 10 people eat six servings or more a day of these foods. The biscuits with a cup of tea watching television, the packet of crisps in the car on the way home from work, the bar of chocolate while at the desk in work, accumulate very easily. Follow the top tips in these new resources: plan and prepare your meals, make healthy choices, get active and choose the “Healthy Ireland way to health.”

The HSE's Healthy Eating and Active Living programme will promote and communicate these new resources to our staff and service users. We will integrate them into all our publications and resources including those for the general public and schools.

A copy of the Healthy Eating for Life resources are available on http://www.healthyireland.ie/health-initiatives/heg/

HSE Welcomes New Healthy Eating for Life Resources

Photo caption: Margaret O’Neill, HSE National Dietetic Advisor with Minister of State for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy at the launch of Healthy Food for Life

Last updated on: 07 / 12 / 2016