• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
  • Actions
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2008-2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-64
Sample size:1500
Area covered:National
References:National Adult Nutrition Survey, Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance, Published 2011 http://www.iuna.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/National-Adult-Nutrition-Survey-Summary-Report-March-2011.pdf
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:15+
Area covered:National
References:OECD Factbook 2010: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics - ISBN 92-64-08356-1 - © OECD 2010. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/factbook-2010-en/11/01/03/index.html?contentType=&itemId=/content/chapter/factbook-2010-87-en&containerItemId=/content/serial/18147364&accessItemIds=&mimeType=text/html
Notes:OECD surveys only measured surveys included. Full survey details not yet available.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2005-2006

Survey type:Measured
Age:16+
Sample size:3378
Area covered:National
References:Northern Ireland Health and Social Wellbeing Survey 2005/06: Topline Results - Adult Obesity.
Notes:Northern Ireland.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1997-1999

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-64
Sample size:1379
Area covered:National
References:McCarthy SN, Harrington KE, Kiely M et al. Analyses of the anthropometric data from the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey. Public Health Nutrition 2001;4 (5(A):1099-1106
Notes:North/South Ireland
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1990

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-64
References:North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey, 2000. Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance Summary Report
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:5-12
Sample size:596
Area covered:National
References:Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) (2019) National Children’s Food Survey II: Summary Report. Available online at www.iuna.net
Notes:IOTF Cut Off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:5-12
References:Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) (2019) National Children’s Food Survey II:
Notes:n= 594 2003/4, n = 596 2017/18 IOTF International Cut off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:11-13
Sample size:1715
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:2-4
Sample size:371
Area covered:National
References:Irish universities nutrition alliance. (2012). National Nutrition pre-school survey. Available: https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/46a7ad27/files/uploaded/The%20National%20Pre-School%20Nutrition%20Survey%20Summary%20Report%20June%202012.pdf. Last accessed 20th September 2018.
Notes:IOTF cut-off used, WHO cut-offs available from survey.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2007-2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:7
Sample size:4395
Area covered:National
References:Spinelli et al (2019). 'Childhood Severe Obesity in Europe', Obes Facts.12, pp. 244–258. (Data from COSI round 1-3)
Notes:NOTE - this data is from COSI round I, II and III (2007 - 2013) IOTF cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2003-2004

Survey type:Measured
Age:5-12
Sample size:596
Area covered:National
References:O'Neill JL, McCarthy SN, Burke SJ, Hannon EM, Kiely M, Flynn A, Flynn MA, Gibney MJ.Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Irish school children, using four different definitions.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;61(6):743-51. Epub 2006 Dec 20.
Notes:International IOTF Cut off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2003

Survey type:Measured
Age:5-12
References:Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) (2019) National Children’s Food Survey II:
Notes:n= 594 2003/4, n = 596 2017/18 IOTF International Cut off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2002

Survey type:Measured
Age:4-16
Sample size:17499
Area covered:Republic of Ireland
References:Whelton H, Harrington J, Crowley E, Kelleher V, Cronin M, Perry IJ. Prevalence of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland: results from the North South Survey of Children’s Height, Weight and Body Mass Index, 2002. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:187. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-187.
Notes:IOTF Cut off. Reference: Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey. BMJ. 2000 May 6;320(7244):1240-3.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by age and education

Men, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Insufficient data to display 18-24 age category seperately
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Insufficient data to display 18-24 age category seperately
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2009-2010

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:4348
Area covered:National
References:Fifty Plus in Ireland 2011. Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). http://www.tilda.tcd.ie/assets/pdf/glossy/Tilda_Master_First_Findings_Report.pdf (last accessed on 9.6.15)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2002

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:5992
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:6539
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002. http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/dietary-habits-of-the-irish-population-results-from-slan-annual-report-2003-2/ (last accessed 16 Sept 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:9
Sample size:8136
Area covered:National
References:Keane E, Layte R, Harrington J, Kearney PM, Perry IJ. Measured Parental Weight Status and Familial Socio-Economic Status Correlates with Childhood Overweight and Obesity at Age 9. Kazembe L, ed. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(8):e43503. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043503
Notes:Prevalence of overweight and obesity by the highest level of maternal education. IOTF BMI Cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2009-2010

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:4348
Area covered:National
References:Fifty Plus in Ireland 2011. Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). http://www.tilda.tcd.ie/assets/pdf/glossy/Tilda_Master_First_Findings_Report.pdf (last accessed on 9.6.15)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2008-2010

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1500
Area covered:National
References:Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (2011). National Audlt Nutrition Survey Summary Report 2011. Food and Nutrient intakes, Physical Measurements, Phyciscal Activity Patterns and Food Choice Motives.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:967
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2007. Survey of lifestyle, attitudes and nutrition in Ireland: https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/slan07_report.pdf (last accessed 9.6.15)
Notes:This study looks at the difference between self reported and measured prevalence. Last reviewed 2nd November 2017
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2007

Survey type:Self-reported
Sample size:6426
Area covered:National
References:http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/slan07_report.pdf (last accessed 16 July 2015)
Notes:Last reviewed 2nd November 2017
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2002

Survey type:Self-reported
Sample size:3176
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002. http://www.ucd.ie/issda/data/surveyonlifestyleandattitudestonutritionslan/ (last accessed 16 July 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Self-reported
Sample size:4054
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 1998. http://www.ucd.ie/issda/data/surveyonlifestyleandattitudestonutritionslan/ (last accessed 16 July 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:250,000
Area covered:National
References:WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. (2018). WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: overweight and obesity among 6–9-year-old children. Available: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/378865/COSI-3.pdf?ua=1. Last accessed [Accessed 28th Aug 2018].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2001-2002

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:17499
Area covered:National
References:Whelton H, Harrington J, Crowley E et al. Prevalence of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland: results from the North South Survey of Children's Height, Weight and Body Mass Index 2002. BMC 2007;7:187
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2002

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:5992
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002. http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/dietary-habits-of-the-irish-population-results-from-slan-annual-report-2003-2/ (last accessed 16 Sept 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:6539
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by age and region

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1u&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1u&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point

Children, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point

Children, 2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-7
References:Bel-Serrat S, Heinen MM, Murrin CM, Daly L, Mehegan J, Concannon M, Flood C, Farrell D, O’Brien S, Eldin N, Kelleher CC [2017]. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point

Overweight/obesity by age and socio-economic group

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Insufficient data to display 18-24 age category separately
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Insufficient data to display 18-24 age category separately
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Insufficient data to display 18-24 age category separately
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Adults, 2009-2010

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:2187
Area covered:National
References:The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)
Notes:50+ data also available
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2002

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:5992
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 2002. http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/dietary-habits-of-the-irish-population-results-from-slan-annual-report-2003-2/ (last accessed 16 Sept 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:6539
Area covered:National
References:SLAN 1998 (published in SLAN 2002). http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/dietary-habits-of-the-irish-population-results-from-slan-annual-report-2003-2/ (last accessed 16 Sept 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:9
Sample size:8136
Area covered:National
References:Keane E, Layte R, Harrington J, Kearney PM, Perry IJ. Measured Parental Weight Status and Familial Socio-Economic Status Correlates with Childhood Overweight and Obesity at Age 9. Kazembe L, ed. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(8):e43503. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043503
Notes:Prevalence of overweight and obesity by equivalised household annual income (in quintiles) IOTF BMI Cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Boys, 2001-2002

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:17499
Area covered:National
References:Whelton H, Harrington J, Crowley E, Kelleher V, Cronin M, Perry IJ. Prevalence of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland: results from the North South Survey of Children’s Height, Weight and Body Mass Index, 2002. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:187. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-187.
Notes:Measure of socioeconomic status was possession of a General Medical Services (GMS) Card in the Republic of Ireland
Cutoffs:Other

Girls, 2001-2002

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:17499
Area covered:National
References:Whelton H, Harrington J, Crowley E, Kelleher V, Cronin M, Perry IJ. Prevalence of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland: results from the North South Survey of Children’s Height, Weight and Body Mass Index, 2002. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:187. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-187.
Notes:Measure of socioeconomic status was possession of a General Medical Services (GMS) Card in the Republic of Ireland
Cutoffs:Other

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Sugar consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Sugar consumption (Number of 500g sugar portions/person/month)

Estimated per-capita sugar sweetened beverages intake

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International

Prevalence of at least daily carbonated soft drink consumption

Children, 2014

Survey type:Measured
References:World Health Organization. (2017). Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: Trends and inequalities in the who european region, 2002-2014: observations from the Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) WHO collaborative cross-national study (J. Inchley, D. Currie, J. Jewel, J. Breda, & V. Barnekow, Eds.). World Health Organization. Sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org
Notes:15-year-old adolescents
Definitions:Prevalence of at least daily carbonated soft drink consumption (% of at least daily carbonated soft drink consumption)

Prevalence of confectionery consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Prevalence of confectionery consumption (Number of 50g confectionery portions/person/month)

Prevalence of sweet/savoury snack consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Prevalence of sweet/savoury snack consumption (Number of 35g sweet/savoury snack portions/person/month)

Estimated per-capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Prevalence of less-than-daily fruit consumption

Children, 2014

Survey type:Measured
References:Global School-based Student Health Surveys. Beal et al (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287. Sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily fruit consumption (% less-than-daily fruit consumption)

Prevalence of less-than-daily vegetable consumption

Children, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily vegetable consumption (% less-than-daily vegetable consumption)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per-capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Health systems

Economic classification: High Income

Health systems summary

Ireland’s public healthcare system is primarily government funded, supplemented by considerably high out of pocket payments. In late 2018, approximately 32.4% of the population had ‘medical cards’ which entitle them to use a wide range of public services free at the point of service (including primary and hospital care). This ‘medical card’ is available to low earners, welfare payment recipients and those with certain medical conditions. Those without ‘medical cards’ can still access services but generally have to pay subsidised fees. Some services are exempt from fees for everyone such as maternity care.

A large proportion of the Irish population (43.4%) also have voluntary private health insurance, which can ensure faster access to public services and/or access to private services. This has led to what many believe to be an inequitable system - as it is more profitable for public hospitals to treat private patients than those with medical cards. Ireland is unusual among its European neighbors for not providing universal health coverage for its residents.

Indicators

Where is the country’s government in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Some progress
Where is the country’s healthcare provider in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?No
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Out of pocket
Is there specialist training available dedicated to the training of health professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage obesity?No
Have any taxes or subsidies been put in place to protect/assist/inform the population around obesity?Yes
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in urban areas?No
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?No
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?No
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?No

Perceived barriers to treatment

  • Stigma
  • Lack of financial investment by government and funding for coverage
  • Obesity not recognised as a disease
  • Poor health literacy and behaviour
  • Lack of treatment facilities

Summary of stakeholder feedback

The majority of stakeholders felt that the government did not yet recognise obesity as a disease. Two, however, highlighted that the Irish Department of Health defined it as so back in 2005 (though they recognised that the Health and Social Executive have failed to). Ireland was said to do better on obesity prevention than obesity treatment, with particular praise for its media campaigns and Healthy Ireland initiative.

Overall, there is said to be limited funding for obesity treatment, resulting in one of the lowest rates of obesity surgery and pharmacotherapy provision on the continent. Where treatment is available in the public system there is said to be long waiting times due to a lack of resources and funding. As a result, most obesity treatment is done privately, with insurance generally covering half the cost, leaving the remainder to be paid out of pocket.

It was said that those living with obesity tended to enter the system via their general practitioner (GP), but occasionally via an accident and emergency visit, a public health nurse visit or after childbirth if there were complications. Referral onto specialist services only occurred when one had comorbidities and so most adults only received advice from their GP or nurse. Two stakeholders said an individual had to have a BMI >40 kg/m² without comorbidities or >35kg/m² with comorbidities to receive care. For children, treatment in primary care mostly comes from practice nurses, and when there was referral onto secondary care this was mostly to community dieticians or paediatricians. Stakeholders reported that most people fell out of the system due to lack of referral which is often due to the long waiting lists and narrow criteria.

In Ireland, there is only one centre where secondary and tertiary paediatric treatment is provided and only 2-3 centres where secondary and tertiary adult treatment is (these are not inclusive of private practices). Overall, it is a difficult and long process to receive specialist care.

There is considered to be insufficient numbers of professional obesity specialists in both urban and rural areas in Ireland. There is no specialist obesity training available due to a lack of funding and interest, and because obesity is not recognised as a disease by the medical profession. The only training available is provided in obesity treatment centres, and this training is not formally recognised and has to be self-funded. It was recognised that health professionals in Ireland can otherwise train using SCOPE modules, American Board of Obesity Medicine resources and Canadian courses. There is said to be no obesity related registries.

Based on interviews/survey returns from 7 stakeholders

Last updated: June 2020

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