Funding of cycling removed from watered down obesity strategy

IMAGE: The HSE would see savings if Ireland invested like the Dutch in cycling infrastructure, but the recently launched obesity strategy was watered down to exclude such measures.

A government strategy to tackle obesity was watered down to exclude a promise to “invest more in active living and transport”, according to the Sunday Times today.

The obesity strategy, a Healthy Weight for Ireland, was launched by the health minister Simon Harris and minister of children Katherine Zappone in September. But a Freedom of Information by the Sunday Times shows that some recommendations from experts who advised on the strategy were excluded from the final draft of the policy.

The newspaper reports that the practical measures which were dropped from the strategy included a policy to “invest more in active living and transport”, including cycling.

In the UK health experts claim that the NHS could save up to £1.6 billion a year if the government matched Dutch levels of spending on cycle provision.

MORE: Going Dutch on cycling ‘could cut £1.6bn a year from health budget’
 Obesity strategy ‘too lightweight’ (Sunday Times)
MORE: Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025

I am editor of and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

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