The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (Environment and Social Committee) have officially launched their report on childhood obesity. The report recognises the need for decisive action on childhood obesity, which is a prominent public health issue across both the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, almost 25% of children are overweight or obese, while in Northern Ireland approximately 21% of children are overweight, and 7% obese.
Obesity has high social, environmental and economic costs. Obesity related conditions are affecting our economy and threatening to engulf the health service, but responsibility for tackling it goes far beyond the health sector. IPH welcomed the opportunity to present at a recent (Tuesday 6 June) BMA Northern Ireland meeting to discuss solutions for tackling rising obesity.
Data from the most recent wave of the Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative has been released. The report, launched yesterday by Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy was presented at the Association for the Study of Obesity on the island of Ireland annual conference.
In March 2016 the UK government announced its intent to introduce an industry levy on sugar sweetened drinks from April 2018. This levy is an important component of the UK’s childhood obesity strategy. To account for varying levels of sugar in these drinks, the levy will have two tiers (5grams/100ml and 8grams/100ml). A consultation has been established to set out proposals for the design and implementation of this levy; and the IPH welcomes the opportunity to respond, particularly given the announcement of a similar levy in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland’s 2nd Physical Activity Report Card launched today, along with 37 other country report cards
IPH Chief Executive Dr Liz Mitchell said
In this blog, Dr Noelle Cotter and Dr Helen McAvoy explore the evidence on taxation of sugar sweetened drinks policy in the context of the obesity epidemic on the island of Ireland.
A recent editorial in the Irish Times (August 9th) on the taxation of sugar sweetened drinks (SSDs) refers to the struggle to protect the health of consumers and the strengthening of political resolve to challenge powerful commercial interests.
IPH response to Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) consultation on food and soft drink advertising to children via non-broadcast media
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) in the UK invited submissions to a consultation on food and soft drink advertising to children via non-broadcast media. IPH welcomes this consideration of tougher restrictions on the advertising of products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) to children in the UK and Ireland who have similar access to non-broadcast media exposure across jurisdictions.
This IPH report (July 2015) developed for the ROI Department of Health presents a summary of the feedback of key stakeholders based on a consultation document presenting options for action to address Ireland’s overweight and obesity epidemic. There was a very significant level of engagement by a wide range of stakeholders which has resulted in a useful set of considerations for policy development.