Three-quarters of Irish older people are overweight or obese

According to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, three-quarters of Irish older people are overweight or obese – a statistic that worries ARI.

Active Retirement Ireland is a national network of over 570 local older people’s clubs comprising more than 24,500 members and last month they launched a campaign to encourage older people to cook for themselves and to eat balanced meals.

Backed by Bluebird Care, the campaign is fronted by TV chef Gary O’Hanlon, who won the Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year award for 2014, and is supported by Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard café in Dublin and food blogger Nollaig Bourke of Fascination Food.

“Working with Healthy Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine over the last few years, we have seen that for many older people, old age can be a time when they pay less attention to what they’re eating” said Peter Kavanagh, Information & Networking Officer of ARI.

The problem can be made worse, said Kavanagh, by personal history.

“Many older people would have grown up eating balanced diets without even realising it. Now, in an age when processed food is so readily available, many older people are taking the easy option and their diets are suffering.”

“With so many older people overweight or obese, it’s incredibly important that we encourage older people to cook healthy and nutritious meals for themselves,” said Kavanagh.

“Above all, we want people to enjoy their food.”

The campaign kicked off with a competition to find Active Retirement Ireland’s best recipe and as part of the new initiative, a TV3 show aimed at finding classic homecooked recipes is also in the works.

You can get in contact with them on their website here.

(Image courtesy of ARI)

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