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Monday 27 March 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Operation Transformation.
# OPeration Transformation
Department of Health no longer a sponsor of RTÉ's Operation Transformation
In both 2021 and 2022, the Department spent €230,000 to sponsor the series which has come under criticism for its focus on weight loss.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health is no longer a sponsor of RTÉ’s Operation Transformation.

In both 2021 and 2022, the Department of Health spent €230,000 to sponsor the series which has come under criticism for its focus on weight loss.

However, no money has been paid towards sponsoring the programme this year. 

In reply to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s mental health spokesperson Mark Ward, the Department said its sponsorship of the programme was part of its Obesity Policy and Action Plan.

This plan aimed to “increase awareness and understanding around obesity and encourage behavioural change”.

The Department added that a “new citizen engagement campaign” was designed last year in consultation with the HSE and key stakeholders including Bodywhys and the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity.

Sinn Féin TD welcomed the Department’s decision to no longer sponsor the RTÉ show, adding: “I think the Department of Health have much better ways to spend public money than sponsoring Operation Transformation to the tune of €460,000 in the previous two years.”

He said he is happy that taxpayer’s money will not be used to sponsor the show and that “community sanctioned dieting culture does little to achieve long-lasting weight loss or health promotion”.

He noted that “eating disorder support groups [have] accused the show of triggering some people with the condition, causing them distress and mental health problems”.

Ward added that the new citizen engagement campaign is a “much better process and it’s important that eating disorder advocates are part of the conversation”.

In response to criticism of the show last year, an RTÉ spokesperson said the series had evolved considerably over the years and now encompasses a more holistic approach to adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as losing weight.

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