Fine Gael Cork South Central TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has today (Friday) welcomed the decision of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to exempt cheese from the new rules that will govern the advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink to children. In October 2011 the Committee on Health and Children made a submission to the BAI recommending that cheese be excluded from the nutrient profiling model used to determine is a product is a HFSS food.
“The decision taken by the BAI to adopt the Nutrient Profiling Model to determine the fat, salt or sugar levels in food, and to remove cheese from this model, is to be welcomed. This means that the proposed restriction on the advertising of cheese to children will not now go ahead.
“In October 2011 the Committee, following meetings with a number of health and nutrition experts, made a submission to the BAI agreeing that there was a need to restrict advertising of HFSS food and drink to children. However we were not convinced that it was appropriate to include cheese in these restrictions. Therefore we recommended that cheese should be excluded.
“I am pleased that the BAI have taken a common sense approach to this and have agreed with the Committee’s recommendation. Cheese is a natural dairy product and when eaten in moderation forms an important part of a balanced diet, the decision of the BAI acknowledges this.
“The BAI will also require that on-screen messages indicating the recommended maximum daily intake of cheese, this too is to be welcomed. As with all foods, the best way to ensure that our children are getting a balanced and healthy diet is through moderation. It is well documented that dairy products and the calcium they contain play a crucial role in the development of our young children.”