May 28, 2023

‘Tis the season to be … half a stone heavier, warn health experts

THE average Irish adult can expect to pile on half a stone over the festive season as a combination of boozing, overeating and shunning exercise takes its toll on our waistlines.

Obesity watchdogs have warned that weight gain is all but inevitable over the Christmas holiday period, as it’s the one time of year that even the most health-conscious people allow themselves to overindulge.

But health experts said simple measures can be taken to limit the calorie intake, without spoiling the traditional fun associated with the festive season.

Safefood Ireland spokesperson Joana da Silva said: “We are certainly not here to ruin people’s Christmas. It’s very important that people enjoy themselves, and there are far more temptations around when it comes to food and drink at this time of year than any other time of the year.

“The average adult in Ireland will put on about half a stone over the Christmas period, and a lot of that weight gain is due to the extra drink that is consumed, because people go out more at this time of year,” she added.

“Calorie-wise, drinks are a big thing. Of course, people are less inclined to exercise at this time of year, because the nights are darker and colder, so that means the extra calories are not being burned off.”

Unsurprisingly, Ms da Silva warned our waistlines receive the biggest hammering on Christmas Day, when a dinner with all the trimmings, plus treats and other meals, can be up to 6,000 calories – nearly three times the recommended daily intake.


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