Mayo 'Healthy Living' Month a Huge Success


The inaugural Mayo Healthy Living Month which took place in May was a huge success according to Croí Nurse Ailish Houlihan.  The initiative saw many events take place throughout the month in all parts of the county. Two of the highlight events were the Schools Essay Competition and the Bord Bia Cookery Demonstration in the Welcome Inn Hotel. 

View Photos of the Schools Essay Competition Awards

View Photos of the Bord Bia Cookery Demo

Mayo Healthy Living Month – Generation X-tra Factor School Essay Competition

Dr. Francis Finucane, Consultant Endocrinologist, Galway University Hospitals, gives his thoughts on the obesity epidemic in Ireland and on the winning essay in this school competition.

“We're all aware that overweight and obesity are affecting an increasing proportion of young people in Ireland. There isn't any doubt about the health consequences such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease for future generations. We know that excess body fat is brought on by an imbalance between energy intake (diet) and energy expenditure (physical activity). We live in a world now where it is easier to obtain calories and harder to get rid of them. Nobody set out to create this situation, but it's where we find ourselves.”

“What was apparent in all of the essays submitted for this competition was a perception among students that the environment they inhabit makes it difficult to maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The winner gave a frank and honest portrayal of the daily challenges teenagers face in this regard. The essay highlights the challenges for health professionals, food industry and probably most importantly for legislative bodies and government to make the environment as conducive to a healthy lifestyle as possible”.


Ooooooh! A Chicken Roll!

                                                                                                  by Brian Crowley

What will I have for lunch today? Will I get chips cooked in fat from the canteen? How about a breakfast roll from Dunne’s Stores or a chicken roll from CostCutter? What about Centra’s meal deal where you can get a portion of chips, sausages and a can of coke for only €3? But since I only have €1.50 with me, I’ll get a packet of Tesco Cookies, a packet of Midget Gems and bottle of Coca-Cola from Tesco. Wherever I choose is less than a 5 minute walk away. Forget the sandwich in the triangular plastic box by the bottles of water; I’ll get the brightly coloured, very appealing and sugary alternatives. The sugar will keep me awake during that dreadful double History. Time flies when you’re eating.

If I was to make my own lunch I would have to get up early or worse; do it the night before and skip that episode of Family Guy. Sure my Mum will happily hand me money for an overpriced and unhealthy lunch that wouldn’t be fit for the starving kids in Africa. I don’t spend that much anyway on lunches. €4 a day is only €80 a month or €650 for the school year for lunches that will cost me much more in the future than they do now. Some good health insurance and I’ll be grand.

It’s very important to get a good night’s sleep as I was always told when I was younger; and that is why I skip breakfast in the morning. As I’m usually late for school it means I don’t get breakfast till 11:10am during break. I usually get two sausage rolls. You know the ones with nearly 300 calories and 25g of fat in each one? They can make me quite thirsty so I get a bottle of brown coloured sugar filled carbonated water. Some people prefer breakfast rolls. The cookies are also delicious at only 50c each. 4 cookies are cheaper than two sausage rolls so I sometimes opt for the cookies if I’m lucky to be early enough.

I don’t have time to do sports nowadays. I used to play soccer but when I reached u16’s the training got too intense. The fags and booze probably didn’t help. The matches used to be on Saturday mornings too which wasn’t good, especially after those late Friday nights. Chips from JC’s taste so much better on a Friday night. I usually have a fry-up Saturday morning. I cook most of it myself; the greasier, the better. We always keep a steady supply of food in the fridge at home. You should see our biscuit cupboard.

I sometimes go to the one of the new football pitches in town on Sundays with my friends. We then go and treat ourselves with some Big Mac’s and a McFlurry from McDonald’s. I then retreat back to my house and finish off my weekend with some last minute homework and relax with a bag of Chilli Heatwave Doritos and a game of Call of Duty on my Xbox.

Brian Crowley,
4th year - St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar


Croí is a registered Irish heart & stroke charity dedicated to the fight against heart disease and stroke, with a special focus on the West of Ireland. 

Our Mission is to 'Prevent Disease, Save Lives, Promote Recovery and Wellbeing'

The charity is totally funded through the proceeds of fundraising events, voluntary contributions and philanthropy.
Charity Number: CHY7500

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