First steps to combat obesity

 

Sir, – The Irish Heart Foundation welcomes your Editorial, “A sedentary threat” (November 25th). We welcome discussion on combating childhood obesity and particularly the role the daily bombardment of junk food marketing plays on damaging our children’s health.

While it is important to instil healthy eating and exercise habits, young people are fated to lives of ill health if we continue to allow them to be enticed with easy access to cheap, tasty unhealthy food and promotions. We know there is a causal link between junk food marketing and child obesity and yet there are no consequences for brands that use emotionally engaging marketing to entice young people.

Our childhood obesity manifesto, launched this month, aims to reduce childhood obesity by 50 per cent by 2030; an ambitious target but one that is achievable if An Taoiseach makes solving this crisis a national priority across departments.

We can make a good start by regulating junk food marketers access to young people, listening to young people who ask for clearer more honest packaging and labels, reducing the cost of healthier food options through subsidies and investing in a built environment that helps young people become more active. – Yours, etc,

TIM COLLINS,

CEO,

Irish Heart Foundation,

Dublin 6.