The association of Halloween with sweets is damaging Irish children’s health, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Cork Senator Tim Lombard said he was in Cork on Halloween night and saw children walking around with carrier bags full to the brim with sweets.
“I know Cork is no different than any other part of the country and I’m sure this scene was repeated across the island.
“This is particularly concerning given the epidemic of childhood obesity this country is facing.
“If you walk into any supermarket around this time of year, you will see huge tubs of sweets on special offer. Obviously, the big food retailers in Ireland know that if there is a demand for junk food and they will have to supply it.
“This is happening at a time when we see report after report warning of the dangers of a childhood obesity epidemic in this country.
“I believe we need to see a commitment from retailers to sell sugar responsibly. Rising obesity levels are placing an increasing burden on individuals and society.
“It is clear that there is an issue with education of the dangers of excess sugar. I believe retailers can play a socially responsible role in helping parents make informed decisions on their children’s nutrition.”