Blending fast food for young children highlights extent of obesity problem

Parents need support on issue of child obesity, conference told

Orlaith Blaney, chief executive of McCannBlue advertising agency said the issue of obesity was “very, very emotive” for parents and they needed support, rather than being victimised.

Orlaith Blaney, chief executive of McCannBlue advertising agency said the issue of obesity was “very, very emotive” for parents and they needed support, rather than being victimised.

Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 01:00

A mother who blended McDonald’s meals for her baby and a four-year-old who consumed close to a day’s recommended calorie intake for his breakfast were cited yesterday as two examples of the extent of our obesity problem.

Orlaith Blaney, chief executive of McCannBlue advertising agency, is working on a childhood obesity campaign by Safefood to be launched on Monday and was involved in country-wide research on obesity. She said a mother in Newry said her four-year-old had eaten three bowls of Cheerios, two yogurts, a banana, an apple and three slices of toast for breakfast that morning.

“So the seriousness and the challenges around people’s understanding of portions and value is also a real area of education,” she said.

A mother in Dublin’s inner city told of “bringing home McDonald’s and blending it and giving it to her young child. These are really serious issues”.

The issue of obesity was “very, very emotive” for parents and they needed support, rather than being victimised, Ms Blaney told an open meeting in Dublin organised by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.