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Ireland’s top Obesity Expert to speak in Mullingar

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Professor Donal O’Shea

Many of you will know Professor Donal O’Shea from his appearance on RTE’s Operation Transformation. There is more to Professor O’Shea than his appearances on this popular RTE show. Professor O’Shea is Ireland’s top expert on obesity and is especially interested in children’s obesity. Professor O’Shea is consultant endocrinologist, a role that means he deals with the issues caused by our obesity epidemic including the likes of diabetes on a daily basis. In 1999, Professor O'Shea set up a treatment unit for obesity in Ireland between St Vincent's and St Columcilles Hospitals in Dublin. Professor O’Shea’s family is steeped in the medical profession and rugby fans will recognise his youngest brother, RTE Rugby panellist and Harlequins Coach, Conor O’Shea.

Mullingar Information event with Dr O’Shea

Whelehans pharmacy are teaming with Ireland’s Top Obesity Expert Dr Donal O’Shea and number of health professionals including local HSE dieticians to hold a Sugar and Obesity Information Event next Monday March 7th at 7.30pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. The event has no cover charge and is sure to be popular so to avoid disappoitment book your place by calling Whelehans at 044 9334591. Parents and their children are especially welcome. There will be lots of fun interactive activities for children during the event.


His views on Ireland’s Obesity Problem

In interview in April 2015 with the Irish Independent , Dr O’Shea explained “We are separating out into the super fit and the super fat” He says "We have proliferation of triathlons, a gym culture and then at the same time Ireland is the fattest country in Europe, with the fattest children in Europe according to the World Health Organisation. We are not at the scale of the US yet – 33% of their 12 year olds are overweight or obese and 25% of our 12 year olds are overweight or obese.”. In the same interview, Professor O’Shea made a stark prediction. "So Coca-cola are on the one hand putting children's names on their bottles, in their most successful campaign ever, and then on the other hand they are buying up bottled water companies because they know that in 15 years' time these sugar sweetened drinks will be considered effectively poison, if not banned, to those under 18," Prof O'Shea predicts "It will be like a kid smoking, that is how it will look and it just won't be acceptable."

Professor O’Shea gives an example that most of us will be familiar with. “When you go into a petrol station and they are offering a can of coke and a packet of crisps at the counter for a euro and they ask do you want it and you say no and then they are trained to repeat the offer because if they do 20pc of people will say 'OK'; it is hard not to think this is why we are where we are. And yes part of me wants to give a 15-minute lecture to that guy behind the counter, rather than just paying for the petrol and going home."

We are to PC to tackle childhood obesity

Professor O'Shea is quoted in saying that Ireland has become almost too Polictically Correct (PC) to address our issues with weight, particularly when it comes to our children. We are afraid to cause offence. He explained to the Independent’s Joanna Kiernan that "If you hear what an obese kid thinks about themselves; their level of self-esteem is so low and combine that with the level of harm caused by child obesity on their mental health - it would dwarf the desire to be PC. We have to have that discussion," he says. "We have to get parents aware of their kids' weight and GPs happy to mention this to parents.” Less than 2% of the parents of children classed as overweight or obese by BMI accepted that their child is overweight. ( We are in denial!!


Ireland’s Top Obesity Expert Dr Donal O’Shea and number of health professionals hold a Sugar and Obesity Information Event next Monday March 7th at 7.30pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. Book your free place by calling Whelehans at 044 9334591 or e-mailing


Thanks to Dr Donal O’Shea and the Irish independent for information for this article

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