Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 11/11/2015. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting
Dublin Senator and Fine Gael candidate for Dublin West, Catherine Noone, has today (Wednesday) called on the four Dublin Councils to adopt a ‘no fry zone’ of 500m around schools and playgrounds.
Senator Noone states that this move would, in effect, mean that no new takeaways or franchise fast food outlets would be allowed to open within 500 metres of schools or playgrounds.
The proposed opening of fast food outlets near schools has caused controversy in recent times including objections by several local schools in Greystones, Co Wicklow in response to the news that a McDonald's drive-through was granted planning permission across the road from their schools.
The schools in question, with around 1,800 enrolled students between them, have opposed the construction of the fast food restaurant. As previous reports have found, Ireland has already seen a staggering rise in childhood obesity and this concern was one of the grounds of appeal made by the schools.
The 'No Fry Zone' proposal was first raised early last year
when a coalition of health groups had appealed to the government to take action against childhood obesity.
Speaking on the initiative, Senator Noone explains the benefits of such a policy:
“Dublin City Council is currently preparing the new City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. This plan will set out the future development of our city over the next six years and is now open for submissions.
“I believe that in this Development plan there is scope to include some form of ‘no fry zone’ policy within the environs of Dublin City. However I believe we need to go one step further and implement this policy in Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councils also.
“There is a clear imperative to limit access to unhealthy fast foods for children. A quarter of 11-year-olds are now clinically obese. We are facing an obesity time bomb, which I have spoken about on many previous occasions.
“A study of Irish childhood obesity recently revealed that children who are obese have an 82% chance of remaining so into adulthood, compared with just 15% of children with a normal weight in childhood. I believe we need to do everything possible to stop that, and this is one such tool we can use”.
If you would like some advice on what to do if your child is overweight or obese, read here.
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