Written answers

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Department of Health

Food Safety Standards

5:00 pm

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Question 157: To ask the Minister for Health in relation to the promotion policies promoting a balanced diet, if his attention has been drawn to the model in respect of nutrient profiling as drawn up in the United Kingdom, categorises cheese as less healthy than diet cola; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this UK nutrient profiling model proposed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is used for the purpose of regulating the advertising of food to children in the UK only and is at odds with nutrient profiling models used in any other EU State; if the result of such nutrient profiling is consistent with the food pyramid as promoted by his Department which recommends three servings from the milk, cheese and yogurt food group per day; his views on the current importation of the UK nutrient profiling model; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30106/12]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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I am aware of the model for nutrient profiling as developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK for use in regulating broadcast advertisements for children and that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are proposing using this nutrient profiling model for the purpose of regulating the advertising of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt to children in Ireland.

There are a range of nutrient profile models in use in other countries. In the recent WHO report 'Guiding Principles and Framework Manual for the development or adaptation of nutrient profile models' the WHO cites the UK FSA model as an example of a nutrient profiling model. The Healthy Eating Guidelines and Food Pyramid resource from my Department, is an education tool and provides broad nutrition advice. It allows 3 servings a day from the Milk, Yogurt and Cheese shelf of the Food Pyramid. However the focus is on choosing low fat cheeses regularly as full fat cheeses are high in saturated fat. Reducing saturated fat is a key target of my Departments Cardiovascular Health Strategy.

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