Friday, October 12 14:49:54
Food and Drink Industry Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the food sector, today said the newly published Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's Children's Advertising Code is based on "flawed science" and would have little impact on childhood obesity rates.
But the representative body for primary school leaders, the Irish Primary Principals' Network (IPPN), has praised new advertising rules announced today that will attempt to fight the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced that it will implement new regulations limiting the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar food and drink to children in order to 'curb the growing trend of childhood obesity and create a more responsible culture of children's advertising'.
According to recent studies, 327,000 children are estimated to be either obese or overweight, amounting to roughly half of all primary school children in Ireland.
But Food and Drink Industry Ireland said that, while it welcomed the fact that cheese has been exempted from the new rules, many other nutritious products that provide positive nutrients in the Irish diet will be banned from advertising to children.
Commenting on the issue, FDII Head of Consumer Foods Shane Dempsey said: "The nutrition model in the code is simply copy and pasted from the UK, without any reference to valuable Irish research on the subject. The Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) food consumption database contains all the relevant information to inform a scientific approach to this issue."
"The UK system is unscientific, out-of-date and based on the concept of a 100g measure rather than on the actual amount people eat. This means that foods such as dairy and cereal products, which are vitally important to Irish children's diets, are classified as unhealthy."
"It is positive that the BAI has exempted cheese from these new rules. One in three children in Ireland are calcium deficient and it is important that consumers are aware of the importance of cheese as a part of a balanced diet."