Ireland is on track to be the fattest country in Europe within the next ten years.
It will also result in a dramatic increase in chronic diseases.
The Obesity Care Conference in Dublin heard six out of ten Irish people are overweight or obese.
Excess weight is responsible for 4.5 per cent of cancers in Ireland.
Each year, 300 cancer deaths are down to overweight.
Based on body mass index, a report from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, Trinity College, evaluating obesity in adults over 50, found 36 per cent are obese.
A further 43 per cent overweight.
Prof John Reynolds, of St James’s Hospital and TCD, said: “To make progress in dealing with the obesity epidemic, we need to put in place treatment options as well as preventative measures. Eating less food is not an option.
“Solutions will not be found purely in prevention or emphasising responsibility. Solutions are much more complex than this.”