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Minister welcomes launch of Irish language Healthy Eating resources

23 January, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane has welcomed the launch of "Na Maceys: Turas Scoile Blianintiúil" an Irish language educational resource focused on healthy eating.

Speaking at Scoil An Droichid in Belfast the Minister said:

"It is vital that we encourage our young people to live happy healthy lives and welcome the publication of this resource in English and now Irish.

"It is vital if we are to reverse current obesity trends that we take every opportunity to educate our children to make sensible decisions in regards to what they eat and their lifestyle choices. It is therefore essential that schools, parents and the food industry work together to help our children understand the importance of healthy eating.

"I am writing to every school and youth club to ensure that they understand the importance of ensuring that from the minute a child enters a school until the time they leave, they are encouraged to eat healthy foods which will promote and protect their health.

"I expect breakfast clubs, vending machines, tuck shops and after school clubs to adhere to the nutritional standards set by my department. I am also planning a legislative change to enable the department to enforce these standards.

"This book is an excellent example of how we are able to get the healthy eating message across in a fun and informative way. I would like to congratulate the Heath Promotion Agency, Food Standards Agency and J & J Haslett for their work on this superb book in a format readily accessible to young children." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. "Na Maceys: Turas Scoile Blianintiúil" is a translation of "The Maceys' Annual School Trip" The English version of the book has been distributed to all primary schools here. HPA has facilitated the translation and publication of the Irish version with permission from the author and Hasletts. It has been distributed to Irish speaking primary schools.

2. Research in the North of Ireland shows that one in five boys and one in four girls is either overweight or obese. Children who are overweight or obese face greater risks of developing serious illness later in life such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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