Irish Kids' Obesity Level on the Rise as XXXL Uniforms go on Sale

Yesterday we read an article in the Independent and were gobsmacked to read about Ireland's rising obesity levels, relating particularly to those still in school.

With the enormous breadth of nutritional knowledge we now have relatively easy access to, the wealth of healthy eating options available to us, not to mention the ongoing efforts made to highlight the importance of a balanced diet and exercise from an early age, how could it be that this is a problem that is worsening? With all of the aforementioned, shouldn't it be improving?

Worryingly, the Independent reveal that school trousers with 50 inch waists are now going on sale to cater to the youth of Ireland's expanding waistlines. Put another way, we're told that this means there are now kids, aged in around 11, whose waistlines exceed three feet. What's even more shocking, is the news that this isn't the odd prepubescent kid, it's one in FOUR of them who are labelled as overweight for their age/height etc, or actually obese.

The situation has gotten so out of hand in Ireland's schools that some establishments are having to go so far as ordering special chairs and tables, as what sufficed before is now too small for many a student.

Schoolchild writting on blackboard.

What or who is to blame for this very serious problem? Is it the negligence of parents who are failing to encourage healthy eating at home? Is it the schools who are failing to supply healthy options at break times? Is it, in some cases, more a genetic problem than anything else? Is it that the collective metabolism of youth is slowing down due to several changes in lifestyle? Is there enough emphasis placed on physical education during the school week? Or do we have the advent of computer games, iPads and all other digital gadgets that are keeping our kids indoors, sat on their bums, rather than outside burning calories?


Irish uniform retailers tell the Independent that they're now selling uniforms to primary and secondary school kids that 'would fit grown men'. No longer will small medium and large do the trick, they're having to keep a stock of XXXL as well. As per these retailers, selling 50 inch jumpers 'wouldn't be at all unusual' in this day and age.

Dr Eva Orsmond has no qualms in commenting on the issue. In her view, it's the parents of these kids - 300,000 of which in Ireland who weigh more than they should - who are 'absolutely living in denial.'

There is a saying that if a parent thinks their child is overweight or slightly plump - the probability is that the child is already obese. A kid really shouldn't have any tummy, and if they do, that's a serious warning sign.

What's your take? What do you think needs to be done and done urgently to turn the tide of obesity?

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