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TV doctor Pixie supports a 'no-fry zone' for children

THE Government's 'no-fry zone' plan to ban takeaways near schools has been given the thumbs-up by a high-profile TV doctor.

The star of Embarrassing Bodies Dr Pixie McKenna said that the exclusion zone was badly needed to stop the fat and salt-laden diets that are destroying a future generation.

"We have to stop killing our children," she said.

"I don't think you need to be a doctor to look at the weight and health issues among young people to realise that something is seriously wrong."

But the Cork native, who features in the Channel 4 medical show, said that the plan didn't go far enough.

"I don't think anyone believes that this kind of a ban is going to be the only solution. But something has to be done and at least it is a start," she said.

"People don't like to be told but the truth is that we are seeing obesity spiral because people eat too much, they eat too much of the wrong thing and they don't exercise."

The Government's plan includes banning fast food outlets from setting up 1km or 2km away from schools and playgrounds.

And Dr McKenna said parents needed to be more proactive.

"A sedentary lifestyle and convenience food are to blame for the majority of the problem," she said.

"We need to get back to basics and get kids out exercising and away from computer games and social-networking sites. Parents must understand that they need to lead by example."

It has been predicted that, because of Ireland's soaring sugar intake, the level of diabetes could treble in the space of the next 25 years. Earlier this month, a Cork study found that 25pc of children aged between nine and 11 were overweight.

CAMPAIGN

Dr McKenna was in Cork to launch the Mercy University Hospital Foundation's campaign to raise €3m for cancer, stroke and cardiology projects.

Dr McKenna completed her training at MUH and hails from a long line of doctors. Her father, Jim, is a retired GP and all her uncles were also doctors.

Three of Dr McKenna's four brothers now also work in the medical field.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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