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Minister Hildegarde Naughton Teams Up With The SciComm Collective To Expand The Healthy Weight Campaign

The Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton has announced a new radio advertisement to mark phase two of the Healthy Weight campaign.

Developed under the Healthy Ireland Framework, the campaign is the first to focus on prevention of weight gain by speaking directly to young adults aged 25 to 34 about positive behaviours that help to maintain healthy weight.

It was developed as a response to research which showed that the 20s is a critical time for weight gain, and it aims to increase awareness of the four pillars of healthy weight: sleep, stress, physical activity and nutrition.

The campaign primarily reaches young adults online and also includes a radio advertisement on national, local and online stations.

The core messages are amplified on social media by members of the SciComm Collective; young scientists working and studying in Ireland and experts in the fields of sleep, stress, physical activity and nutrition.

Minister Naughton said, “it is so important that we are all aware of the impact that sleep and stress, as well as nutrition and physical activity, have on our ability to maintain a healthy weight. This year, I am excited to be teaming up with the SciComm Collective for our Healthy Weight campaign. Having met with some of the team and experienced first-hand their engaging expertise in peer-to-peer science communication I am confident that this campaign will help empower young people to embrace healthier behaviours in their day to day lives.”

The Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth said, “there is general awareness of the link between eating habits and physical activity and weight, but the Healthy Weight campaign also highlights the importance of optimising sleep and minimising stress in order to prevent weight gain. Overweight and obesity contribute to a range of health issues. Improving the overall health of the population starts with prevention, so campaigns like this one are vital as they can help to reverse obesity trends, thus preventing future health complications that will in turn ease the burden on the health service.”

The HSE’s Clinical Lead for Obesity, Professor Donal O’Shea, said, “science has made important advances in our understanding of overweight and obesity. We now know that many factors influence weight: our genes can play a role, where we live, our access to safe outdoor spaces, the advertising we are exposed to, our access to fresh food like fruit and vegetables at an affordable price, our exposure to junk foods, the amount of stress in our lives, how much we sleep. In short, weight gain is about so much more than individual control overeating less and exercising more. We know this time in life – the 20s and 30s – is associated with changes in behaviour that encourage weight gain. This campaign shares information on the core habits we all can adopt to lead a healthier life and reduce the risk of health issues associated with overweight and obesity.”

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