Shock tactics needed to demonstrate dangers of obesity, says doctor

Wrappers warning the public of how many calories are in the food they are about to eat or featuring images of obesity are shock tactics that should be used to help stop the spiralling Irish obesity problem, a former Operation Transformation doctor says.

Eva Orsmond, a weight- loss specialist, said such shock tactics are urgently needed in bring people into reality about their calorie intake.

“Ready meals, meal deals, soft drinks and so on are all coming in super sizes and the public are just not taking time to count the calories of their recommended average calorie intake,” said Dr Orsmond.

“Wrappers with large writing or shocking images need to be put on food warning the public of the outcome of the amount of calories they are about to consume.”

Another tactic which could be used is placing images of people alongside restaurant menu choices showing them the results of the quantity of the calories they are about to eat, said Dr Orsmond.

“I know it may not be popular but it would definitely help,” she said.

Operation Transformation Experts /(L-R) Dr. Eddie Murphy, a Principle Clinical Psychologist with the HSE; Dr. Eva Orsmond, medical doctor and Karl Henry, fitness expert.
Operation Transformation Experts /(L-R) Dr. Eddie Murphy, a Principle Clinical Psychologist with the HSE; Dr. Eva Orsmond, medical doctor and Karl Henry, fitness expert.

Calorie count-legislation is on the cards. Government proposals to require restaurants, takeaways, and all food service outlets to post calorie details of all meals on menus has been approved and it is aimed to have this legislation introduced early next year.

However, the Restaurants Association of Ireland opposes proposals to display calories on menus.

It believes in education before legislation. The cost, on average, on each restaurant of changing menus and signage would be €5,000.


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