To: Leo Varadkar, Micheal Martin, Stephen Donnelly, Irish Government

Stop Targeting Kids – Ban junk food marketing to young people

Stop Targeting Kids: Help us protect children from being targeted by junk food marketing

Join the Irish Heart Foundation campaign to protect children’s health by supporting our call for new legislation to:
- Ban all junk food marketing online.
- Extend the TV watershed to 9pm and remove loopholes that mean four year-olds see over 1,000 junk food ads a year on TV
- Ban junk food advertising on state owned transport, buildings and other structures such as bus stops

Why is this important?

Junk food marketing directed at children is rampant in Ireland. It is fuelling the obesity crisis that is causing immeasurable damage to their health.

The State’s own research says that 85,000 of this generation of children on the island of Ireland will die prematurely as a result.

But the health and wellbeing of every child is threatened by an advertised diet that encourages poor nutrition and is damaging over time. Children as young as eight are already presenting in large numbers with high blood pressure and teenagers with a cardiovascular age of people in their 60s.

It’s almost a decade since the State restricted broadcast advertising of junk food because of its detrimental impact on young people’s health. But it has failed abysmally to effectively regulate online junk food marketing that is more personalised, engaging, effective and therefore far more damaging. Multinational brands have achieved a wholly inappropriate proximity to our children, pestering them relentlessly through their smartphones and behind their parents’ backs.

It’s not just an online problem. Wherever children are, junk food advertising confronts them: on television, on billboards and buses particularly near schools, in shops and supermarkets, in sportsgrounds, school campuses, cinemas, through sponsorships of children’s events, on the jerseys of their sports heroes and through promotions by music stars. There is no escape.

If you agree this is wrong, please sign and share our petition today.

Ireland

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