A new report shows two out of three Irish adults are at an unhealthy weight, with almost 25% being obese.

The study, Dietary Habits of the Irish Population, which was funded by the Department of Health, says Irish people eat too many foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

A major concern in the Irish diet is the over-consumption of foods from the top level of the so-called food pyramid such as oils, butter, cakes and biscuits.

These are meant to be used sparingly, less than three servings a day.

But the survey found Irish people are eating 7.3 servings of these foods, which are high in fats and sugar.

Another measure used in the survey is called central obesity – it is based on waist size.

47% of men, and 70% of women were defined as centrally obese. This can lead to a higher risk of diabetes or heart disease.

It found many people do not eat enough fibre, Irish women do not get enough calcium or iron, and most eat far too much salt.

71% exceeded the recommended 6 grams of salt per day - and these figures do not include the salt added during cooking or at the table, so the true salt intake is actually much higher.

A third of salt intake comes from cereals, bread and potatoes.

The Department of Health says it will publish a National Nutrition Policy aimed at young people next year, and is working under an EU framework to reduce salt content in our food by 16% over the next four years.