4 July 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune – who lives in Blackrock, Cork City – is reminding parents to be aware of the marketing of unhealthy food towards their children over the summer holidays.
As young people take a well earned break, more free time can mean more exposure to advertising for products with high levels of salt, sugar and fat.
Speaking at a European Public Health Alliance event in Brussels, MEP Clune says “studies show the marketing of unhealthy food affects children’s food preferences and eating behaviours.
Alongside traditional advertisements, food companies now use targeted internet ads, influencers, celebrity endorsements and online events to sell their products.
Although Ireland has stringent laws surrounding the marketing of unhealthy food, obesity continues to rise, and one in five of our primary school children are now overweight.
New rules to restrict advertising where half of the intended audience is under 15 are due to be introduced in Ireland later this year.
The EU’s proposed Digital Services Act is designed to stop the targeted advertisement of children throughout Europe.
Experts say the relationship we create with food during childhood can last a lifetime, so it is vital we protect children to promote healthy eating habits.”