Sunday 9 December 2018

Clampdown on junk food ads 'doomed'

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A new voluntary code aimed at curbing the promotion of junk food has been launched without revealing how it will be policed.

The failure of the Department of Health to spell out how the code will be enforced was criticised yesterday by the HSE's obesity lead, Prof Donal O'Shea. "The monitoring must be in place as soon as possible," he told the Irish Independent.

The Irish Heart Foundation also warned the failure to make the code mandatory means it is "doomed to failure" and food companies will "circumvent" the rules. The code, covering sugary and salty foods and fizzy drinks, is aimed at non-broadcast media in the latest bid to tackle the country's obesity crisis.

It proposes supermarkets should have one in four checkouts "sweet-free". Billboards displaying these foods and drinks should be at least 100 metres from school gates. Marketing of these foods by means of social media should not target children under the age of 15.

Where it is permissible, it should not exceed a maximum of 25pc of total advertising space.

Irish Independent

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