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Tackling Child Obesity One Step or Bite at a Time

Tackling Child Obesity One Step or Bite at a Time

16 May, 2014

The World Health Organisation recognises being overweight and obese are the most common childhood disorders in Europe. In Ireland, the National Taskforce on Obesity has called for joined-up thinking and practical engagement to tackle the condition. Today, Ireland is ranked fifth-highest among 27 EU countries in incidence of childhood obesity and if no decisive action is taken, Ireland’s rising childhood obesity rates will continue to rise. An ‘Exercise and Health Research Cluster’ within the School of Humanities at CIT have set about solving this problem by developing a health promotion intervention “Project Spraoi” which will attempt to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and decrease sedentary time amongst Irish primary schoolchildren. While other interventions amongst Irish schoolchildren have been effective to some degree, they have concentrated on either nutrition OR physical activity; no intervention has focussed on nutrition, physical activity and sedentary time, together. Shocking child obesity rates point to need for an integrated approach to problem. On Fri 2nd May, the Dept. of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to officially launch ‘Project Spraoi’. Minister Deenihan aptly stated at the event, “it is our children who are the future of this country and it is there that we must emphasise positive health promotion behaviours not when it is too late.” The project is intended to be rolled out from the local Cork area to the wider Munster Region and eventually on a national scale. Dr. Margaret Linehan, Head of School of Humanities, sees this project, which has now been in existence for two years, as an important part of the schools research strategy. Engaging with 3rd level education is a useful way for the wider community in the region to solve real problems. If you are interested in discussion similar opportunities and would like to look at ways to engage with CIT, please contact us at 021 4335302 extended.campus@cit.ie