Minister for Health and Wicklow TD Simon Harris, alongside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne have launched the 2019 Healthy Ireland campaign and announced funding of €1 million to boost community engagement on health and wellbeing in every county.
The campaign aims to address adult obesity and health problems by encouraging people to make positive choices to improve their health and wellbeing across three main themes – Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Mental Wellbeing.
Speaking at the launch, Harris believes the campaign is an essential part of the Slaintecare strategy which aims to engage and empower citizens on their own health and wellbeing.
“Promoting the health of our population to prevent illness is an essential part of our Sláintecare strategy. Under the Sláintecare Action Plan we will progress a programme to engage and empower citizens in their own health and wellbeing.”
“The new phase of the campaign being launched today will help us get the messages of Healthy Ireland to an even wider audience. The work already underway through Healthy Ireland at national and local level, including through the growing Healthy Cities and Counties initiative, will be expanded as we seek to engage every family and community in improving the health of the nation,” said Harris.
Analysis by the Healthy Ireland Unit in the Department of Health shows that 60% of Irish adults are overweight or obese, with only one in three adults meeting physical activity guidelines or eating enough fruit and vegetables.
Research by the World Health Organization in 2018 shows that only 33 per cent of Irish adults get enough exercise.