Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Moves to Curb Irresponsible Food Marketing

30 April, 2007


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Carál Ní Chuilín Equality has welcomed moves by a number of NGO's and Trade Unions who have written to the British Government urging it to step in to protect children from irresponsible food marketing tricks and rising obesity levels.

The groups included Children's Food Campaign, Diabetes UK, National Children's Bureau, National Consumer Council, National Heart Forum, National Union of Teachers among others

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"It is long since passed the time that TV companies should be allowed to get away with considering children to be fair game for intensive advertising campaigns, including advertising for unhealthy food - it is time that child obesity is recognised as being an increasing issue.

"We clearly need to redress this trend. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the pressures of mass marketing TV adverts and wall-to-wall TV programs with product placement in many of the most popular children's programmes.

"Sinn Féin shares the concerns of health professionals and health user groups about the increasing prevalence of obesity in children and young people. The fact that a number of NGO's and Trade Unions have now jointly written to the British Government urging it to step in to protect children from irresponsible food marketing tricks and rising obesity levels, shows that the problem is not be properly addressed.

"New figures just released by NIO Health Minister Paul Goggins confirmed that in the Derry, Strabane and Limavady area in the age group of two to ten year old children that 13% were diagnosed as obese.

"In childhood, obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high blood insulin levels and abnormal blood lipid levels. Together, these risk factors make up what is known as insulin resistance syndrome, a pre-diabetes state that has been diagnosed in children. If the marketing industry is not prepared to take responsibility for its actions then clearly a much tougher response from government is required." ENDS

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