Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, has reiterated his commitment to tackling the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Northern Ireland.
Evidence shows that obesity reduces life expectancy by up to nine years, increases the risk of Northern Ireland’s biggest killers – coronary heart disease and some cancers; increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – an obese woman is ten times more likely to develop diabetes than one who is not overweight; and can impact on emotional/psychological well-being and self-esteem, especially among young people.
Priorities to cover the period 2019-2022 include, for example:
- Increase membership of the PHA Breastfeeding Welcome Here Scheme across public and private sector businesses and organisations in order to create supportive environments for breastfeeding
- Childcare settings registered by the HSC Trusts adhere to DoH Minimum Standards: Childminding and Day Care for Children under the Age of 12.
- Increased opportunities for participation in play and physical activity for children and young people particularly in areas of deprivation;
- Councils supported to develop Greenway proposals which would enable children and adults to incorporate walking and cycling as part of everyday physical activity for active travel, recreation and health on ‘traffic-free’ routes.