Plan launched to combat processed foods as Ireland holds highest obesity levels in Europe
The Minister for Health has launched a plan to combat sugar, fat, salt and calories in processed food.
Minister Stephen Donnelly announced the news on Friday 3 with the publication of A Roadmap for Food Product Reformulation in Ireland, along with a corresponding taskforce to implement the plan.
Some of the measures being taken as a result of the policy include creating a code of practice in relation to the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of food and drink, revising healthy eating guidelines and developing guidelines for one to five-year-old children, as well as calorie posting in restaurants.
Speaking about the news, the minister said, "The links between diet and non-communicable diseases are well-established, and this is particularly the case in economically disadvantaged areas, where people tend to eat more processed food.
"The work of the Task Force, working together with the food industry, will help to combat inequality by improving the quality of the food available."
The publication is a core element of the 2016 Obesity Policy and Action Plan.
According to the HSE, Ireland has one of the highest obesity levels in Europe, with 60% of adults living with overweight and obesity.
The taskforce, situation within the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), will enable a detailed engagement with the food industry to help drive progress towards the roadmap's targets and address any difficulties that may arise.
The work will reportedly continue until the end of 2025.
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