6 Jul 2018, 10.50

Broadcasting and advertising regulators will offer their views on the growing problem of childhood obesity at the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on Wednesday, July 11.

Also taking part in the discussion starting at 9:30 a.m. in Committee Room 1 is the main trade association for the food and drink industry, Food Drink Ireland.

Since March, the Committee has been gathering evidence on the scale of childhood obesity, the factors driving the problem, and possible strategies for improving the diet and lifestyles of Ireland’s next generation.

Witnesses include:

  • Michael O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;
  • Kevin McPartlan, director of prepared consumer foods at Food Drink Ireland; and
  • Orla Twomey, chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.

Senator Joan Freeman, the acting chair for Wednesday’s meeting, says children’s diet of popular culture delivered by television, ads and online video content too often encourages unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle.

“No previous generation has faced so many temptations to remain inactive with high-calorie snacks and video entertainment on demand at the tips of their fingers,” Senator Freeman said. “As a society we cannot wind back the technological clock, but we can strive to achieve a better balance and healthier values in our children’s lives. This will require creative thinking and commitment from the agencies responsible for overseeing video content, consumer messaging and, of course, the prepared ready-to-eat food offered on our store shelves.”

The meeting can be viewed live here.

It also can be viewed live on Android and Apple devices using the Houses of the Oireachtas app.

Media enquiries

Shawn Pogatchnik
Houses of the Oireachtas
Communications Unit
Leinster House
Dublin 2
+353 1 618 4203
+353 86 701 3295
Twitter: @OireachtasNews

Committee membership


Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil