Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health Mark Ward TD says he welcomes the Department of Health’s decision not to continue sponsoring RTE show Operation Transformation.
Last year Deputy Ward criticized the Department of Health when he received information that RTÉ received over €460,000 in the previous two years in sponsorship for Operation Transformation which has recently been criticised by eating disorder groups.
“I welcome that the Dept of Health has not continued to sponsor the RTE programme Operation Transformation this year,” Deputy Ward said.
“I think the Department of Health have much better ways to spend public money than sponsoring Operation Transformation to the tune of €460,000 in the previous two years.
“TV licence payers are basically being taxed on the double for this show.
“I raised this issue last year when I became aware of the situation, and I am happy that taxpayer’s money will not be used to sponsor the show.
“There has been recent criticism of the show from eating disorder groups like Bodywhys. Which stated that that community sanctioned dieting culture does little to achieve long-lasting weight loss or health promotion
“This follows on from strong criticism of the show by eating disorder support groups who accused the show of triggering some people with the condition, causing them distress and mental health problems.
“I welcome that last year a new citizen engagement campaign was designed by the Department of Health in consultation with the HSE and key stakeholders including Bodywhys & the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity.
“This is much better process and its important that eating disorder advocates are part of the conversation.
“The Department of Health have failed to provide services for people with eating disorders and should be targeting the resources into services that people are crying out for.