Round-the-clock food shopping, takeaways to your door - small wonder we're so big
W icklow County Council has voted in favour of adopting a new county development plan that would ban fast food outlets from opening within 400m of schools. Now, there are many reasons why children are growing fatter, including lack of activity, lack of cooking skills and time, and the ubiquity of sugary treats. Nevertheless, the takeaway is a massive threat to our children's health.
"This is a really positive initiative," says obesity specialist Professor Donal O'Shea. "There is now clear evidence that proximity determines purchasing patterns and that the density of fast-food outlets is linked to obesity rates."
He adds: "The Healthy Ireland Framework asks for whole-of-society change and this is an example of planning coming on board with making Ireland healthy. It's in line with the World Health Organisation's recommendations and the Royal College of Physicians' Policy Group recommendations." He chairs that group.