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THE average person in Ireland is a stone heavier than 10 years ago.

A new report shows that it won't be long until Irish people are as fat as Americans.

And people here are at least a centimetre taller than they were a decade ago.

The report reveals Northern Ireland and the Republic are on the brink of an obesity epidemic.

Men and women are gaining more than half a kilo a year - that's a gram a day.

Professor Mike Gibney, one of the experts behind the report, said: "The number of people who are clinically obese in Ireland has increased from 11 per cent in 1990 to 18 per cent now."

He blames laziness and lack of exercise for the epidemic.

Almost 1,400 people between 18 and 64, were quizzed in the two-year survey of diets and lifestyle.

Scientists from the University of Ulster at Coleraine joined with experts at Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork to collect the information.

Between 1987 and 1997, Americans gained on average 8lbs each, while Irish people are gained more than 12lbs.

The study reveals that more men are overweight than women.
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Author:O'Connor, Margaret
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2000
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