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A snapshot of Irish health: Over half of us are overweight (and a lot of us binge drink)

According to new figures from the CSO, almost one in five of us binge drink at least once a week.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE CSO HAS released results from the Irish Health Survey 2015, which show that while most of us report our health as good or very good, over half of Irish people are overweight or obese.

Other key points from the survey show that 81% of people drink alcohol, with 16% saying that they binge drink – which is defined as the equivalent of three or more pints of beer or six pub measures of spirits – at least once a week.

Despite Government initiatives, such as “1 in every 2 smokers”, over one in five (22%) smoke, but only 15% of people indicated that they smoke daily.

83% of the population aged 15 and over reported themselves to be in good or very good health, although almost a third (32%) said that they have a long standing illness or health condition.

Most common among these conditions were chronic back pain (19%), high blood pressure (16%) and allergies such as dermatitis and food allergies (14%).

One in ten 15-24 year olds, meanwhile, said that they’d visited a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or psychologist in the last year, while 8% had experienced symptoms of at least moderate depression two weeks prior to the survey.

A report from the World Health Organisation estimates that, on current trends, nearly all Irish adults are likely to be overweight by 2030. In a bid to take steps to combat obesity in the recent budget, the Government said that Ireland will be getting a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, but it won’t come into effect until 2018.

Over 10,000 people contributed to the survey, which aims to provide data on various aspects of health. The results of the Irish Health Survey 2015 can be read here.

Read: Almost one in every four Irish adults smokes – and the numbers aren’t falling

Read: Men told to limit themselves to six pints a week

Read: “Ireland has a serious problem – we drink too much alcohol”

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Sean Murray

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