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Healthy school meal schemes required to tackle childhood obesity - Doherty

7 January, 2008


Speaking today Sinn Féin’s Education spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty
urged the government to actively tackle Ireland’s childhood obesity
crisis through implementing nutritious and healthy free breakfast and
meal schemes in all schools and ensuring that each school has adequate
facilities for Physical Education.
 
The Sinn Féin Senator said, “It is estimated that 300,000 Irish children
are overweight and obese, a figure rising by an expected 10,000 each
year. This is a worrying statistic. The onus should be on the
Departments of Health and Education to address this phenomenon.
 
“We have had recommendations from the National Taskforce on Obesity, but
what we need is action. Almost three quarters of schools sell
confectionary tempting children with fizzy drinks, sweets, lollipops,
chewing gum and crisps. While the HSEhave drawn up guidelines for
schools on implementing healthy eating policies, the reality is that
some schools have sound policies while in others healthy eating
programmes are non-existent.
 
“The Department of Education should ensure that all schools have healthy
eating policies instead of leaving it up to a schools discretion.
 
“The benefits of children eating healthily are indisputable. A better
diet results in improved concentration and behaviour not to mention
tackling childhood obesity. Nutritious food should be supplied in
schools free of charge while harmful sugary food and drinks should be
banned. We need to ensure that children receive their daily intake of
necessary nutrients instead of gorging on sugar contributing to the
Western world’s obesity time bomb.
 
“There is an added problem in that a significant number of schools have
inadequate or simply no sports facilities for physical education. This
must be addressed with a well funded school accommodation programme to
ensure the construction of PE halls where needed. The current scenario
of schools having to divide their halls to cater for students as a
result of this government’s abject failure to address class sizes is
appalling.” Críoch


urged the government to actively tackle Ireland’s childhood obesity
crisis through implementing nutritious and healthy free breakfast and
meal schemes in all schools and ensuring that each school has adequate
facilities for Physical Education.

The Sinn Féin Senator said, “It is estimated that 300,000 Irish children
are overweight and obese, a figure rising by an expected 10,000 each
year. This is a worrying statistic. The onus should be on the
Departments of Health and Education to address this phenomenon.

“We have had recommendations from the National Taskforce on Obesity, but
what we need is action. Almost three quarters of schools sell
confectionary tempting children with fizzy drinks, sweets, lollipops,
chewing gum and crisps. While the HSE have drawn up guidelines for
schools on implementing healthy eating policies, the reality is that
some schools have sound policies while in others healthy eating
programmes are non-existent.

“The Department of Education should ensure that all schools have healthy
eating policies instead of leaving it up to a schools discretion.

“The benefits of children eating healthily are indisputable. A better
diet results in improved concentration and behaviour not to mention
tackling childhood obesity. Nutritious food should be supplied in
schools free of charge while harmful sugary food and drinks should be
banned. We need to ensure that children receive their daily intake of
necessary nutrients instead of gorging on sugar contributing to the
Western world’s obesity time bomb.

“There is an added problem in that a significant number of schools have
inadequate or simply no sports facilities for physical education. This
must be addressed with a well funded school accommodation programme to
ensure the construction of PE halls where needed. The current scenario
of schools having to divide their halls to cater for students as a
result of this government’s abject failure to address class sizes is
appalling.” Críoch

urged the government to actively tackle Ireland’s childhood obesity
crisis through implementing nutritious and healthy free breakfast and
meal schemes in all schools and ensuring that each school has adequate
facilities for Physical Education.

The Sinn Féin Senator said, “It is estimated that 300,000 Irish children
are overweight and obese, a figure rising by an expected 10,000 each
year. This is a worrying statistic. The onus should be on the
Departments of Health and Education to address this phenomenon.

“We have had recommendations from the National Taskforce on Obesity, but
what we need is action. Almost three quarters of schools sell
confectionary tempting children with fizzy drinks, sweets, lollipops,
chewing gum and crisps. While the HSE have drawn up guidelines for
schools on implementing healthy eating policies, the reality is that
some schools have sound policies while in others healthy eating
programmes are non-existent.

“The Department of Education should ensure that all schools have healthy
eating policies instead of leaving it up to a schools discretion.

“The benefits of children eating healthily are indisputable. A better
diet results in improved concentration and behaviour not to mention
tackling childhood obesity. Nutritious food should be supplied in
schools free of charge while harmful sugary food and drinks should be
banned. We need to ensure that children receive their daily intake of
necessary nutrients instead of gorging on sugar contributing to the
Western world’s obesity time bomb.

“There is an added problem in that a significant number of schools have
inadequate or simply no sports facilities for physical education. This
must be addressed with a well funded school accommodation programme to
ensure the construction of PE halls where needed. The current scenario
of schools having to divide their halls to cater for students as a
result of this government’s abject failure to address class sizes is
appalling.” Críoch

urged the government to actively tackle Ireland’s childhood obesity
crisis through implementing nutritious and healthy free breakfast and
meal schemes in all schools and ensuring that each school has adequate
facilities for Physical Education.

The Sinn Féin Senator said, “It is estimated that 300,000 Irish children
are overweight and obese, a figure rising by an expected 10,000 each
year. This is a worrying statistic. The onus should be on the
Departments of Health and Education to address this phenomenon.

“We have had recommendations from the National Taskforce on Obesity, but
what we need is action. Almost three quarters of schools sell
confectionary tempting children with fizzy drinks, sweets, lollipops,
chewing gum and crisps. While the HSE have drawn up guidelines for
schools on implementing healthy eating policies, the reality is that
some schools have sound policies while in others healthy eating
programmes are non-existent.

“The Department of Education should ensure that all schools have healthy
eating policies instead of leaving it up to a schools discretion.

“The benefits of children eating healthily are indisputable. A better
diet results in improved concentration and behaviour not to mention
tackling childhood obesity. Nutritious food should be supplied in
schools free of charge while harmful sugary food and drinks should be
banned. We need to ensure that children receive their daily intake of
necessary nutrients instead of gorging on sugar contributing to the
Western world’s obesity time bomb.

“There is an added problem in that a significant number of schools have
inadequate or simply no sports facilities for physical education. This
must be addressed with a well funded school accommodation programme to
ensure the construction of PE halls where needed. The current scenario
of schools having to divide their halls to cater for students as a
result of this government’s abject failure to address class sizes is
appalling.” Críoch

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