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Stop Marketing Junk Food To Kids - Cllr Sarah Holland

8 February, 2019 - by Sarah Holland

Sinn Féin Councillor Sarah Holland called on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to stretch the watershed on junkfood marketing from 6pm to 9pm, in a bid to shield kids from marketing of high fat, salt and sugar foods.

The motion was passed unanimously without debate, and a letter was issued to the BAI.

Cllr Holland said

“We have regulations on advertising these unhealthy foods to kids, but they aren’t working. Children as young as two can recognise the brands they want, and show preferences for them.

"There are clear links between the advertising and consumption of these foods.

"There are some frightening facts presenting themselves about our childrens health, with Safefood research estimating that 55,056 children currently living in the Republic of Ireland and 85,688 on the whole island will die prematurely due to overweight and obesity.”

Research from the Irish Heart Foundation, which was backed up by the World Health Organisation, called for two actions – closing loopholes in tv advertising, and setting up online regulation of the marketing of high fat, salt and sugar foods.

Cllr Holland said; 

“Our children and young people are more susceptible to online targeting and television marketing. We must do what we can to limit their intake of these foods, and part of that is restricting the marketing of them. I welcome the cross-party support for this motion, which was a common sense move."

The BAI responded in writing this month. Their letter confirmed that they would be reviewing the guidelines and opening a public consultation on the matter, a move that was welcomed by Cllr Holland.

“Here is a chance for the public to make our voices heard on this.  We can urge the BAI to move the watershed to 9pm, so that our children aren’t bombarded with junk food advertisements.”


Note to editors: Text of motion passed at South Dublin County Council on 10/12/2018:

“This Council calls on the BAI to extend the broadcast watershed from 6pm to 9pm for HFSS food and drink advertisements on television and radio to protect children from exposure to junk food marketing”

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