Obesity is one of the most serious health risks posed to our children and young people, but a new package of measures has proposed how we can tackle it.
The Irish Heart Foundation and Social Justice Ireland this week published a report highlighting the danger posed by obesity in young people, and how it needs to be addressed.
The report, which warns that the cost of obesity could quadruple in the next 15 years for every individual in the State, singles out the role played by fast food in the rise of the epidemic.
After finding that 75% of Irish schools are situated within a kilometre of a fast food outlet, the report’s authors believe that targeting fast food and fizzy drinks in a new campaign could have a significant impact.
The report suggests targeting a 5% reduction in the nation’s body mass index through the introduction of measures, funded by the money generated from a sugar-sweetened drinks tax. The study authors believe that this could reduce the annual cost of obesity by as much as €349 million by five years’ time.
Furthermore, the report suggests the introduction of a ‘no-fry zone’ rule, which would ban the presence of fast food outlets within a kilometre of primary and secondary schools.
The package also includes a proposal for subsidies on fruit and vegetables.
While the report only carries recommendations, we will keep you updated on its progress.