Senator Eamonn Coghlan and chief executive of the Irish Sports Council John Treacy will address the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children tomorrow, 19th April on the issue of tackling childhood obesity through sport.

Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “Senator Eamonn Coghlan and John Treacy are among Ireland’s most successful and celebrated athletes and both continue to have a huge interest in athletics and promoting healthy lifestyles, particularly by encouraging young people to participate in sport.

The recent Growing up in Ireland report on obesity in children makes for grim reading as it highlighted a huge problem with the matter and found that obesity in Irish children is higher than in many northern European countries.

That study found that Irish children are becoming more obese and that this was creating serious health risks for the future. It highlighted that by the age of 19, 19% of Irish children are overweight and that 26% of Irish children were outside the healthy range for their weight.

Apart from the huge health and personal issues that are being stored up for the future, there will also be a big economic burden from treating the effects of obesity in coming years. This is now a serious health concern that needs to be dealt with urgently.

Both Senator Coghlan and Mr Treacy have a strong interest in, and ideas about, how to tackle obesity through the promotion of sport and recreation. The Committee is looking forward to meeting them tomorrow to get their perspectives on the issue and discuss in detail their views and ideas on dealing with the issue of childhood obesity.

The meeting takes place tomorrow, Thursday, 19th April, 11.30am in Committee Room 2, LH 2000. Committee proceedings can be followed live at: