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Sat., Dec 15, 2018
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Home Economics Department welcomes recommendations made by Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on Childhood Obesity

Home Economics Department welcomes recommendations made by Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on Childhood Obesity

Home Economists in St Angela’s College welcome the recommendation made by the Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on Childhood Obesity to make Home Economics mandatory, on a phased basis, for all Junior Cycle students. This recommendation was one of a number made by the Joint Oireachtas Committee in relation to combatting Childhood Obesity. The Home Economics Department was instrumental in shaping the recommendation with Amanda McCloat, Head of Home Economics Department and Dr Elaine Mooney, Lecturer in Home Economics presenting to the Oireachtas Committee in Leinster House on 7th May 2018. They discussed the contribution of Home Economics as a post-primary school subject in addressing the issue of childhood obesity.


Welcoming the recommendation to make Home Economics a compulsory component of Junior Cycle education, Ms Mc Cloat noted “prioritising the study of Home Economics in post-primary schools for all students is one of the most effective health promotion strategies available to combat poor dietary choices and unhealthy eating practices and consequently, assist in achieving the aims of A Healthy Weight for Ireland 2016-2025”.
Developing food, health and culinary skills is a key focus of the new Junior Cycle Home Economics Specification (2017) due to be implemented in schools in September 2018. The Specification comprises three strands; one of which is Food, Health and Culinary Skills which is underpinned by Health and Wellbeing element. International practice shows that Home Economics is considered key in many countries to the development of healthy populations. In countries such as Finland, Korea, Japan, Northern Ireland, Home Economics is a compulsory component of the curriculum in junior cycle education

Dr Mooney commented “Home Economics is the only school subject in which young people are afforded the opportunity to learn how to cook.  It develops students’ practical food and health literacy skills empowering them with not just the nutritional knowledge but also the practical hand on skills to integrate healthy food choices into their own daily eating habits”.
Amanda McCloat welcomed the recognition of Home Economics as a compulsory component for all students and noted that due to the practical nature of Home Economics, students engage in a practical hands on approach to preparing food. Important practical food and health literacy skills such as menu planning; shopping; cooealth and safety food skills; portion control; reading food labels; dietary analysis; food budgeting; and food waste are also taught.


Home Economics makes a unique contribution to the education of young people. While the solution to the obesity phenomenon is multifaceted, education emerges as a clear area of access. Home Economics is a comprehensive curriculum which teaches young people practical and theoretical aspects in secondary schools of food and the basic skills of how to prepare food for themselves and their families.


For Media Enquiries
Please contact: Amanda McCloat, Head of Home Economics Department amccloat@stangelas.nuigalway.ie Phone: 071 9143580

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