Report recommends introduction of no-fry zones and ban on vending machines in schools
The publication of the Report on Tackling Childhood Obesity by the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs’ marked a “crucial” and “possibly a watershed moment” in the national response to childhood obesity, the Irish Heart Foundation has said.
Published last week (Thursday 15 November) the Report on Tackling Childhood Obesity, makes a total of 20 recommendations to help schools, communities and families make healthier choices for young people.
The report recommends working with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods during TV programmes with significant young audiences, a ban on vending machines in schools and the introduction of a statutory code for the advertising and marketing of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic drinks across non-broadcast media.
Additional recommendations include, the introduction of no-fry zones around schools, increased funding for physical activity facilities in schools, and the implementation of further targeted interventions to support lower socio-economic households in the context of childhood obesity, such as food poverty.
"We now call on the Government to meet its duty of care to protect our children from what is undoubtedly the biggest threat to their future health,"
Mr Chris Macey , Head of Advocacy, Irish Heart Foundation
Responding to the report Mr Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy with the Irish Heart Foundation said: “This is a crucial and possibly a watershed moment in the national response to child obesity – at last there is a consensus across party lines that comprehensive regulation is needed to tackle big ticket drivers of the crisis such as the relentless targeting of children through junk food advertising both on television and online.
“Implementing other recommendations such as the introduction of no-fry zones, a ban on vending machines in schools, improved infrastructure for physical activity and interventions targeting children in disadvantaged communities where obesity rates are highest would also represent important progress in creating a healthier environment for children.
“We congratulate the Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee and its Chairman Deputy Alan Farrell on the launch of this report. We now call on the Government to meet its duty of care to protect our children from what is undoubtedly the biggest threat to their future health by delivering the resources and the political will to put its recommendations into effect without delay.”
"The World Obesity Federation has estimated that by 2025, 241,000 schoolchildren in Ireland will be overweight or obese,"
A recent joint report from the World Obesity Federation and the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that compared to children with a healthy weight, those who were overweight, or obesity were more likely to experience negative consequences.
These included: poorer health in childhood, including hypertension and metabolic disorder, lower self-esteem and poorer health in adulthood, including a higher risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The World Obesity Federation has estimated that by 2025, 241,000 schoolchildren in Ireland will be overweight or obese.
As many as 9,000 children are predicted to have impaired glucose intolerance; 2,000 will have type 2 diabetes; 19,000 will have high blood pressure; and 27,000 will have first stage fatty liver disease.
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