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Dublin: 1°C Monday 17 January 2022

Free tape measures to identify those "in denial" about their weight

Safefood says a large number of Irish people are in denial about being overweight. It’s hoped that making the public aware of the dangers of a few extra pounds will act as a wake-up call.

FREE TAPE MEASURES are to be provided to Irish people in an effort to wake them up to the fact that they may be carrying excess weight.

Safefood is warning that while 66 per cent of people are overweight in this country, only 38 per cent realise it. The group wants people to ‘stop the spread’ by measuring their waist size to find out if they’re heading for dangerous territory. A waist size of greater than 32 inches for women and 37 inches for men could indicate that you are one of the people Safefood says are “in denial” about their weight.

Professor Donal O’Shea, head of the Obesity Service at St. Columkille’s Hospital in Dublin says:

Because we have edged up in weight over the last 20 years, most people who are overweight think they are just fine because they look ‘normal’. If you are overweight, all you might need to lose is six or eight pounds – a couple of inches at the waist – to make a big difference to your long term health. Too often, the focus is on the severe end of the scale where it can be really hard to make progress.

According to a survey of almost 2,000 people carried out by Safefood, 57 per cent of people say they feel they don’t need to lose weight. Compared with the fact that two thirds of Irish adults are in fact carrying extra pounds means that people are putting themselves at risk of the diseases associated with being overweight.

Safefood also says that research reveals that there is a “social contagion effect” which means that the chances of becoming obese are more likely within a family or a network of friends.

Two hundred and fifty thousand free tape measures will be provided in chemists and pharmacies around the country from next week so that people can measure their waist correctly to determine if they need to take some action.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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