IRISH governments have been trailblazers in the war against tobacco and the terrible toll it takes on those addicted to smoking. They have, admirably, led the international community in introducing bans that make it ever more difficult to be a smoker.
In the latest skirmish in this war, our Government has incurred the wrath of international tobacco companies by proposing to control branding on cigarette packaging. This public-health measure will be resisted tooth-and-nail by the tobacco giants but it is an objective worth fighting for. If controls on tobacco branding are a legitimate way to make tobacco ever less attractive might the same principles be used in the war on obesity?
Eva Orsmond, a weight-loss specialist, has proposed the idea and it is hard to oppose it. Recent research shows how difficult it is to control much less reverse obesity once eating habits have been established. The scale of the epidemic is so great that it seems we will have to consider every way of confronting it. This seems a good place to start.
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