Everybody needs to act to improve the world’s understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity
The Government needs to tackle the “intense marketing” of junk food to kids to protect children from childhood obesity, the Irish Heart Foundation has said.
Speaking on World Obesity Day today (Friday 04 March 2022), Mr Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation, said that no significant progress on protecting children from childhood obesity can be made until the Government tackles the key drivers of the obesity epidemic.
According to Mr Macey, these key drivers include the high volume and availability of energy dense, nutrient poor food and beverages – including the emergence of a global snack food industry now worth $374 billion a year; the intense marketing of these products; their relative cheapness compared to healthy alternatives.
“The first step must be to follow the UK’s plan to protect children in particular from relentless pestering by junk food companies by introducing an online marketing ban and a 9pm TV advertising watershed for all unhealthy food and beverages,” Mr Macey said.
“The State’s own research estimates that 85,000 of this generation of children on the island of Ireland will die prematurely due to overweight and obesity. But this number is likely to be even higher after a pandemic which has seen children’s intake of unhealthy foods increase and their access to physical activity fall,” he added.
“ 85,000 of this generation of children on the island of Ireland will die prematurely due to overweight and obesity."
Mr Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy , The Irish Heart Foundation
World Obesity Day is a unified day of action that calls for a cohesive, cross-sector response to the obesity crisis and is convened by the World Obesity Federation in collaboration with its global members.
Hundreds of individuals, organisations and alliances contribute to World Obesity Day every year, engaging hundreds of thousands of people across the world.
The theme for World Obesity Day 2022 is ‘Everybody Needs to Act’ to improve the world’s understanding, prevention, and treatment of obesity.
Obesity is a chronic, complicated disease as well as a driver of other diseases such as heart disease and stroke, with serious implications for individuals, families, societies and economies. The need to act has been made more urgent by the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on weight related behaviours in children, young people and adults.
Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges in Ireland today, affecting many thousands of people, yet those living with obesity lack support and face stigma at work, home and in the health system.
" Obesity is a chronic, complicated disease as well as a driver of other diseases such as heart disease and stroke,"
According to World Health Organization, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century as its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s.
You can act to protect children from junk food marketing by signing the Irish heart Foundation’s ‘Stop Targeting Kids’ petition which calls for a ban on junk food marketing to children here.
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