Friday, January 25, 2008

Eighty per cent of Irish teenagers meet the guidelines for normal weight

Photo byTodd Ehler (Flickr)

I sometimes wonder if the obesity debate is getting out of hand. When doctors are busy alarming us about an "obesity epidemic" are they counting in people who are simply overweight? And are they, and the media, taking account of those who are naturally heavy?

Research reported in the Irish Independent suggests that 19 per cent of teenage boys have weight problems or are obese. The figure for girls is 17 per cent.

But the actual rate of obesity is eight per cent for teenage boys and six per cent for girls, the report says. And four out of five teenagers are within normal weight guidelines, according to Prof Michael Gibney from the Institute of Food and Health at University College Dublin.

So we're not all obese and the country is not sinking under our weight.

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