Government to tackle childhood obesity with ‘no fry zones’

The government is to consider introducing a ‘no fry zone’ around schools across the country.

The fast-food exclusion zone will prevent any new fast food chains from opening up 1.5km around schools.

A coalition of health groups want to make outlets at least a 15-minute walk away for pupils.

The proposal is set to tackle the obesity epidemic which is currently sweeping our nation; with a quarter of all 11-year-olds clinically overweight.

The ‘no fry zone’ will also be in place around playgrounds and youth sports facilities.

Health experts have warned that Ireland may face a multi-billion euro healthcare nightmare by 2035 unless steps are taken to reduce the consumption of fast foods by our youths.

Children’s minister Frances Fitzgerald said, “The truth is that we are facing a very disturbing surge in obesity and this will have terrible long-term consequences for our children. The time for action is now if we are to protect children and promote healthier lifestyles”.

Existing fast-food outlets will not be affected unless they are to re-apply for planning.

National planning guidelines which would govern where takeaways could set up are currently passing through the consultation stage with the government due to sign off on them in the coming months.

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