Healthy Eating and Active Living

The Healthy Eating and Active Living Policy Priority Programme was established in late 2016 with a remit to:

Mobilise the health services to improve health and wellbeing by increasing the levels of physical activity, healthy diet and healthier weight across services users, staff and the population as a whole, with a focus on families and children

The National Policy Priority Programme Team work to co-ordinate and lead activity across the health services to ensure implementation of two policies:

  • A Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016 – 2025
  • Get Ireland Active!  The National Physical Activity Plan for Ireland

The objectives of the Programme are to increase the percentage of people in Ireland who are

  • physically active on a regular basis
  • eating a healthier diet by
    • increased consumption of fruit and vegetables
    • reduced consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar
    • achieving and maintaining a healthier weight

Mobilise the health services to improve health and wellbeing by increasing the levels of physical activity, healthy diet and healthier weight across services users, staff and the population as a whole, with a focus on families and children.

Tobacco Free Ireland

Background – Tobacco Free Ireland Programme

The Tobacco Control Framework document was developed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) Tobacco Control Framework Project Group guided by a national steering group in order to inform HSE policy and provide a coherent HSE approach to tobacco use in Ireland. It was launched in March 2010 and detailed a series of actions to be progressed over the following five years (2010 – 2015). In developing the Tobacco Control Framework, a population health approach was considered and outlined in the HSE’s Population Health Strategy.

The Health and Wellbeing Division is prioritising its efforts to achieve meaningful and measureable results across key Government Policies and Strategies aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Healthy Ireland is our overarching Government Policy which presents a roadmap for achieving improved health and wellbeing for all in society. Healthy Ireland’s actions and governance mechanisms are reflected in strategies including National Positive Ageing, Tobacco Free Ireland and Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures among others.

The HSE are committed under Action 4.5 of the Health Service Reform in Healthy Ireland to “establish multi-disciplinary national teams within the Health and Wellbeing Directorate to lead and take responsibility for policy priority areas”. The Tobacco Free Ireland Programme is one of the first priority area programmes to be set up. The main aim of the new programme is to take responsibility of and systematically drive policy priorities in the area of tobacco control. Ms. Martina Blake, National Tobacco Free Ireland Lead will have overall responsiblity for the Tobacco Free Ireland Programme.

Alcohol

Ireland has high levels of alcohol consumption and four out of five adults drink alcohol. However, it is important to remember that alcohol is not an ordinary product and can be harmful to your physical and mental health.

The risk from alcohol increases in line with how much you drink and it is important to understand alcohol’s impact on our health and how much alcohol is considered to be low-risk, so you can make an informed decision about your drinking.

The HSE has published a comprehensive website and communiations campaign for the public on alcohol – about how much we’re drinking, how it affects us healthwise, and how we can gain more by drinking less. AskAboutAlcohol.ie is the first HSE website that provides dedicated information about alcohol risk and offers support and guidance to anyone who wants to cut back on their drinking.

Comprehensive surveys show that harmful drinking patterns have become the norm for many people in Ireland, while awareness of the significant risk associated with these drinking patterns remains low.

Visit www.askaboutalcohol.ie to learn more.

Positive Ageing

What does Positive Ageing mean?

Positive ageing refers to a holistic individual, community and ‘whole-of-government’ approach to changing attitudes towards ageing. Particular emphasis is based on the life course approach, highlighting that ageing policy and practice is an issue for all ages and sectors of society.

Research Strategy 2015-2019

In order to help better inform policy responses to population ageing in Ireland, the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) has been established. The HaPAI is a collaborative partnership involving the HSE Health and Wellbeing Division, the Department of Health, the Atlantic Philanthropies and Age Friendly Ireland, with all partners recognizing the value of undertaking research to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of older people.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), Health and Wellbeing Division has published a ‘Healthy and Positive Ageing for All’ Research Strategy 2015-2019. The purpose of the Research Strategy is to support and promote research that aims to improve people’s lives as they age.

“Healthy Workplaces for all Ages”. The workplace is changing with a higher proportion of older people continuing to work for longer.  Aging is a gradual process and there is no single point when someone becomes an “older worker”.  The definition of an “older worker” is not important, what does matter is that the different issues associated with aging are taken on board and reviewed – at whatever age they develop.

It should not be assumed that age will directly relate to a person’s ability to do a job.  Many older workers have a greater physical and mental ability than similar people half their age.  There is a belief among Employers that older workers will be less productive, more prone to injury or sickness absence which is not true.  Research indicates that job performance is broadly similar across all age groups.

The HSE have taken this opportunity to review this theme as part of European Safety Week.  We will focus on providing helpful information to assist our colleagues.  For more information and an introduction to the campaign please click here.

The information supplied will enable both managers and employees to better equip themselves to deal effectively with our aging workforce.

The National Health & Safety Function along with our colleagues in the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit have developed a number of information sheets to further assist you with regard to this theme, “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages”.