Sinn Féin - On Your Side

European Commission move on Obesity welcomed

31 May, 2007


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed the European Commission warning that Europe's food and drink industry could face new regulations if it does not try harder to tackle obesity.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"Sinn Féin share the concerns of health professionals and health user groups about the increasing prevalence of obesity in children and young people and we welcome the Europeans Commission warning that Europe's food and drink industry could face new regulations if it does not try harder to tackle levels of obesity.

"There needs to be a comprehensive strategy aimed at combating obesity and it needs to consider the negative impact which television and other mass media advertising of unhealthy sugar rich foods and drinks has on children and young people. It is our view that such advertising is limited in the same manner as has occurred with the advertising of alcohol and tobacco products.

"The figures on obesity levels in Europe are shocking. It was found that more than 50% of the adult population is overweight or obese, and more than 21 million children are overweight or obese. The rate of increase among children is more than 400,000 per year. If this trend continues there will be serious health problems across Europe in the next ten to twenty years.

"Hopefully this latest move by the European Commission will put pressure on the Europe's food and drink industry to accelerate the process of redressing the trend in the rise of obesity levels." ENDS

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