20 May 2022

Small steps can make a big difference to your health

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD launches Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD launches Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD launches Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, along with Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne TD, launched the Government’s Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign in Croke Park, encouraging people to make healthy changes in 2018.

The Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign seeks to encourage people to make positive choices to improve their physical and mental health, while also providing support and information to help people make those healthier choices.

These positive steps are focused on three key areas: eating more healthily, being more active, and minding our mental wellbeing.

Speaking at the launch of the Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign the Taoiseach said:

“The message of the Government’s Healthy Ireland 2018 campaign is simple; Small steps can make a big difference to your health, you just need to start. And while this may not always be easy, when you do make the healthy choice, it's always the right one.

"The Government will do its part by ensuring Departments prioritise health and wellbeing. And I'm encouraging everyone to get involved, by making the small changes needed to improve your health and your family’s health. That could mean including a walk in your daily routine, making healthier choice at meal times or taking a break from your phone to give your mental health a boost. These positive and sustainable changes can help us all build a healthy Ireland."

Minister for Health Simon Harris said: “Healthy Ireland is about increasing our focus on prevention and supporting people to improve their own health and wellbeing. This campaign will help support the work to implement the various policies and plans we have developed to address key public health challenges such as obesity and physical inactivity. Healthy Ireland recognises that it’s not just the job of the health sector to improve the health of the nation – it’s a job for everyone, every Government Department and every sector playing their part in a partnership approach.”

Minister for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne said: “This campaign has huge potential to get into homes in every community and help individuals and families make those changes that people want to make, but which everyday struggles make harder to do. By tapping into existing partner initiatives and supports, we can work together to deliver clear, consistent messages and resources which will have an impact on the health of families and communities for the rest of their lives”.

Healthy Ireland is a major Government-led programme to encourage and support everyone living in Ireland to have the best possible physical and mental health and wellbeing. This campaign looks to build on the work done by Healthy Ireland over the past three years – which has seen significant collaborative, cross-governmental work done to develop policies to address our major public health challenges such as obesity, smoking and physical inactivity, and to ensure related policy areas, such as education, planning, transport, rural and community development are aligned to facilitate and prioritise health and wellbeing.

In 2018, Healthy Ireland campaign aims to encourage and support people to make these healthier choices – whether it’s physical activity, like walking, or making healthier choices at meal times, like choosing fresh fruit and veg and of course minding your mental health by making some small changes, like taking a thirty minute break from your phone. These small, positive, sustainable changes all add up to a healthier lifestyle.

Visit to find out about the changes you can make, and to find resources, tips and ways to get involved.

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