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New TILDA Report on Obesity in an Ageing Society Published

A new TILDA report published on 18th July shows that nearly four out of five adults over the age of 50 are overweight or obese and a similar proportion has an ‘increased’ or ‘substantially increased’ waist circumference. This means that just one fifth of the over 50s have a normal BMI or waist circumference. The report, titled 'Obesity in an Ageing Society', highlights the increased health risks and health services burden in older adults due to high rates of obesity.

Speaking about the findings, Dr Siobhan Leahy, TILDA Research Fellow and lead author of the report said: “TILDA is the first study to look specifically at obesity in the over 50s in Ireland. Our findings show not only worryingly high levels of obesity but also the impact of these levels on health and everyday activity among the over 50s in Ireland.”

Dr Anne Nolan, TILDA Research Director and co-author of the report said: “At a time when the Irish health service is faced with the challenge of delivering services with fewer resources, the finding that obesity is associated with a significantly higher use of health services is a cause for concern. A greater focus on health promotion and prevention is required to not only improve population health and well-being, but also to ensure the future sustainability of our health system.”

The report has already received substantial coverage in the national press, including the front page of The Irish Times:

Link: Irish Times coverage

Link: Irish Examiner coverage