Obesity – a burgeoning crisis


Sir, – Your editorial on the subject of obesity was certainly topical (“A burgeoning crisis”, September 10th). However, it is a shame that you decided to focus on personal responsibility, as if the crisis might be resolved by doing a bit more exercise.

Perhaps you are unaware that the junk-food industry has blamed its victims for several decades. Meanwhile the problem gets worse. In fact, after many years of being told to stretch those legs, a quarter of Irish adults are now obese, while the same proportion of children are overweight.

The recent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks is a good thing, as you say, and the Government deserves credit for standing up to the junk-food bullies. But you also suggest that “innovative education campaigns” would be a useful next step. Again, perhaps you are unaware that the budgets for such initiatives are inevitably minuscule compared to the marketing clout of large corporations.

Marketing is, of course, a key issue. There is no good reason for exposing our children to any ads for products designed to make them sick. Eventually we will all recognise that junk-food peddlers have no right to exploit the most vulnerable members of our society. Until then, Ireland will have a major obesity problem.

Surely it’s time to tell these creeps to leave our kids alone? – Yours, etc,



Ranelagh, Dublin 6.