Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Tackling Childhood Obesity: Discussion (Resumed)

9:30 am

Dr. Una May:

I would like to return to what I said earlier about the environment. Activity has been planned out of our environment. The car is king in this country now. Kids cannot play on the streets of housing estates because cars have priority. There are no speed limits and there is no control. It is great that we have been able to introduce swimming and cycling programmes with the assistance of Healthy Ireland funding and dormant accounts funding, but we have found ourselves having to teach kids how to ride bikes. In days gone by, it was normal for kids to get on their bikes to play and to go places. Kids have lost their independence. They are brought everywhere. They are not able to use their bikes. When they learn to use their bikes, the environment is not conducive to allowing kids to cycle anywhere on them. They potentially learn the skills, but then they do not use their bikes after that. I think we have a huge job to do on our environment.


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