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Meal deals could be banned alongside price hike on sweet treats amid Ireland’s obesity issues

By Sophie Collins

Those with a sweet tooth in Ireland could be in for another price hike in the coming months as health officials work to create solutions to Ireland’s obesity issues.

According to a new report from the HSE, meal deals could be made ‘illegal’ nationwide in a bid to discourage overeating.

This is among a number of changes being considered after the World Health Organisation placed Ireland in the top ten countries for obesity.

New figures released show 65% of Irish people are now considered to be overweight, and so, some are calling for a minimum pricing unit on calorific and sugary foods to help curb the issue.

READ MORE: Seven simple ways to speed up your shopping trip the next time you're in Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl

On the Claire Byrne show earlier this week, nutritionists and dieticians joined the host in the studio to show the huge amounts of sweets that can be bought with as little as €5 and some watching labelled it as ‘alarming’ on Twitter.

The guests purchased sweets from Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Euro Giant, and Dealz for under a small budget, and most ended up equalling over 2,000 calories.

Now, the HSE's clinical lead on obesity has called for meal deals to be made illegal in order to encourage people to make better food choices.

Dr. Donal O'Shea said Ireland is at a "tipping point" in the battle against obesity, and that many Irish people are not classed in the healthy weight bracket for their height.

Therefore there maybe moves to ban meal deals, found in supermarkets and petrol stations.

Most offer a food and drink bundle at a reduced price, which usually includes a sandwich, soft drink and a bar of chocolate or packet of crisps.

Speaking to Newstalk, Dr. O'Shea said these deals almost always include solely unhealthy food options and therefore should be banned.

"Literally, that should be illegal.

"The industry has the statistics and they know how to prompt and promote consumption," he explained.

“We just have to be super aware of that and try to resist it.

"Those buy one get one free offers are always around the high fat, high salt, high sugar stuff, never around fruit.”

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Dive Deeper:
RTE Claire Byrne viewers all saying the same thing as experts call for price hike on sweets amid obesity issue
“So we all have to suffer not being allowed to eat junk food if we want, because some parents are…
HSE official calls for ban on convenience store meal deals
Dr Donal O'Shea has said that meal deals in convenience stores promoting crisps, soft drink or chocolate with sandwiches should…
HSE reveals how many unhealthy snacks you can have a week - and Irish people are eating way too many
The HSE has revealed how many unhealthy snacks you should limit yourself to per week and Irish people are far…
Calls to BAN meal deals in Tesco, M&S, ASDA, Boots, Sainsbury's and Morrisons
Calls have been made for lunchtime meal deals to be made 'illegal'
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Calls to BAN meal deals in Tesco, Marks and Spencer, ASDA, Boots, Sainsbury's and Morrisons to stop obesity
Critics say they rarely have healthy options available
Calls for meal deals to be banned in Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury's and Asda
Dr Donal O'Shea, the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) clinical lead, has said the deals should be scrapped as they promote…
Get all your news in one place