Doctor calls for Ireland to fight child obesity by leading the way on plain packaging for sweets

Doctor calls for Ireland to fight child obesity by leading the way on plain packaging for sweets

The HSE’s clinical lead on obesity, Dr Donal O’Shea has said Ireland should lead the way on fighting childhood obesity by introducing a plan packaging policy on fizzy drinks and sweets.

Ireland had already led the way in relation to the smoking ban and there should be a similar campaign to introduce plan packaging on unhealthy foods, he said.

He was speaking after Public Health England suggested plain packaging as part of a range of measures to combat obesity.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic and we’ve got to act,” Dr O’Shea told RTE radio’s News at One.

Plain packaging would make sweets look less appealing so there would be less of a pester factor and children would consume less, he said.

However, he warned that there would inevitably be “huge” industry opposition to the proposal.

People will say this is the Nanny State gone mad, but obesity is currently crippling the health service. We have to take steps.

Dr O’Shea said that the food industry “peddles” high fat and high sugar products to young people. The industry is not capable of self regulation, he added.

Parents need to be empowered to know the industry’s tactics. Drive-throughs can now recognise car number plates and when drivers go to order they are asked if they want their usual, he said.

“Our job is to make the healthy choice the easy one.

“We have an opportunity to stand up to the food and drink industry.

“Desperate times desperate require desperate measures. The degree of industry opposition will be the single biggest barrier to this (proposal).”

More on this topic

Ireland’s first ‘rainbow housing’ initiative now available for students in LimerickIreland’s first ‘rainbow housing’ initiative now available for students in Limerick

Same-sex marriage campaigners in North hail Commons vote but ‘not fully celebrating’Same-sex marriage campaigners in North hail Commons vote but ‘not fully celebrating’

Notre Dame still not safe enough for restoration work, says architectNotre Dame still not safe enough for restoration work, says architect

CSO figures show men earn €1,055 a year more than women who graduated at the same timeCSO figures show men earn €1,055 a year more than women who graduated at the same time

More in this Section

Project diverting youths from drugs and gangs facing axeProject diverting youths from drugs and gangs facing axe

Ireland sees 43% fall in the numbers of children adopted from abroad since 2013Ireland sees 43% fall in the numbers of children adopted from abroad since 2013

Airport security worker sues Dublin Airport Authority over fall from truckAirport security worker sues Dublin Airport Authority over fall from truck

MP: Same-sex marriage change enjoys overwhelming support in Northern IrelandMP: Same-sex marriage change enjoys overwhelming support in Northern Ireland


Lifestyle

Stop. Climbing. Uluru.As tourists rush to climb Uluru despite an incoming ban – 5 ways to enjoy the rock respectfully

Whether it’s wearing acid-washed jeans or booty shorts, the model is a denim chameleon.As she lands a big new campaign, here’s why Kendall Jenner is a denim icon

Don’t want to just chuck away all that clutter? Gabrielle Fagan reveals simple ways to get it out of sight.Seek and hide: 6 storage solutions to keep you and your rooms cool and calm this summer

From playsuits to parkas, here’s what to pack, whatever the weather. By Katie Wright.The beginner’s guide to festival fashion

More From The Irish Examiner