Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stop Blaming the Weather

It's probably a seasonal thing, but I am once again struck by the incidence of obesity in Ireland. Something I've noted once or twice before. It probably has something to do with the good weather and more people exposing more flesh to the all too rare Irish sunshine.

And so it struck me again this weekend, as I spent a delightful day in Killarney National Park - an extraordinary amenity I really should visit more often. But maybe that's the problem: our weather obliges us to spend more time indoors than is healthy. With all the consequences - including weight gain - that go with it.

On the other hand, it could be because we just prefer to spend time indoors? A case in point are the findings from a fascinating IKEA study of children and their parents around the world about 'play' (the Play Report is available through a very useful Facebook page they have set up - ht PSFK).

Here's one finding that struck me - Irish parents say their children spend more time in front of the TV or using games consoles than children from any other country in the world except the United States (and we know what a problem the US has with obesity):

Okay, it's only one factor among many: but maybe it's time to stop blaming the weather?

1 comment:

  1. There are other reports that say the Irish are among the most active in Europe. I haven't dug up a citation but in late March or early April there was something in the Irish Times about this.

    The Irish used to be a thin bunch and this was probably because they were quite poor. Maybe there's a bit of a cultural issue here where the Irish have been particularly affected by that maxim where you make it cheap and make it convenient...


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