Latest: People should 'cop on' and have healthier lifestyles, says Catherine Byrne

Update 3pm: The Junior Health Minister says we should all ‘cop on’ when it comes to making healthy food choices.

It comes as new voluntary codes are introduced for the marketing and advertising of food.

In particular, children are to be protected from targeted marketing of junk food.

Minister Catherine Byrne says we all have a role to play.

"What I would like to see eventually is that people would cop on, that they would get the facts and use the facts to entice them to have a healthier lifestyle, and that includes the food industry as well."

Catherine Byrne

Update 12.23pm: Voluntary code on food advertising and marketing receives mixed response

There has been a mixed response to a new voluntary code on the advertising and marketing of food.

Industry stakeholders have signed up to the code which restricts product placement in supermarkets, billboards near schools and targeted advertising of unhealthy food to children.

Safefood has welcomed the code saying it is the first in Europe to address sponsorship.

But Janis Morrissey from the Irish Heart Foundation says it does not go far enough.

She said: "Because it is a voluntary code we believe it is doomed to fail, it really is a lost opportunity.

"The State's own research shows that 85,000 children in Ireland are going to die prematurely from (being) overweight and obesity."

Earlier: New advertising rules on unhealthy food and drink launches today

The Government is launching new rules for the advertising and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks today.

The codes of practice have been agreed with the food industry to make sure foods high in fat, salt and sugar are marketed responsibly.

In particular, they will aim to reduce the exposure of children to unhealthy foods - and promote healthier choices.

- Digital Desk

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