Thursday, 10 July 2008

Ceisteanna (509)

Michael Creed


497 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the progress made on the programme for Government proposal to expedite the delivery of a national strategy for tackling obesity and increase support for the promotion of healthy food options among young people through programmes such as the school milk scheme and the food dudes programme for encouraging the increased consumption of fruit and vegetables; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28551/08]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

Obesity is, I believe, an immensely important issue for the future health of our society and demands a multi-faceted response as indicated in the Report of the National Taskforce on Obesity which made recommendations for cross-sectoral actions in areas including education, social and community, health, food supply and the physical environment. The recommendations to my Department have been addressed by way of specific healthy food initiatives which I introduced such as the enhanced promotion of school milk and a new national initiative to promote the consumption by schoolchildren of fruit and vegetables.

In addition, I have consistently encouraged the agri-food industry to maintain its focus on meeting the requirements of health conscious consumers. Food and health have been key themes in research proposals under my Department's public good research FIRM programme and under the Food and Health Research Initiative in which my Department collaborated with the Department of Health and Children.

Questions Nos. 498 and 499 answered with Question No. 491.