Healthy food campaign launched in Northern Ireland

A five-year public health campaign to build a healthier food environment and protect children’s health has been launched in Northern Ireland by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke.

Safefood - the public body responsible for the promotion of food safety and healthy eating – is spearheading the campaign aimed at tackling Northern Ireland’s food environment.

The report found that over 60 per cent of pre-school children in Northern Ireland are able to identify unhealthy food brands before they can read and write, and one in four children in Northern Ireland are currently overweight or obese.

As part of the campaign, Safefood will lead a Food Environment Forum which will comprise the lead health agencies involved in the policy and partnership work in this area and will steer a roadmap for the next five years. 

Dr. Aileen McGloin, director of nutrition with Safefood, said: "This new public health campaign aims to protect the health and wellbeing of children by firstly prompting us all to think and talk about our food environment.

“Children see about 1,000 ads for unhealthy foods every year, and before they know their ABCs, young children can identify these brands. 

"If we stop and look around at our environment, we see how much unhealthy food and drink surrounds us."

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