Health expert says meal deals should be banned in supermarkets


An obesity expert has said meal deals in supermarkets should be ‘illegal’.

Health Service Executive (HSE) clinical manager Dr Donal O’Shea made the comments on The Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday May 11 and suggested store staff be ‘trained’ to try and sell snacks to customers.

O’Shea urged the public to be ‘super aware’ of supermarket tactics to try to entice customers to buy more.

O’Shea was talking about the recent warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) that obesity has reached “epidemic proportions” across Europe.

An obesity expert has said meal deals in supermarkets should be ‘illegal’. Credit: Alamy

During the show, Kenny noted that a listener said a sandwich and soft drink from their local supermarket cost €4.55 (£3.80), but adding a packet of crisps to their purchase, that price dropped to €3.99 (£3.40). ).

According to JOE, O’Shea replied, “Literally, it should be illegal. The people who work in supermarkets – supermarket and gas station workers – are trained to offer this special offer. »

He added: “And 70% of people will say no the first time, but if the person behind the counter says ‘well, are you sure that’s a good offer’. Then another 30% will say ‘oh yeah , continue “.”

O’Shea continued, “They’re actually trained because the industry has the statistics and they know how to incentivize and they know how to promote consumption. We just have to be very aware of it and try to resist it.”

The WHO released a major report earlier this month which found that obesity is responsible for 200,000 cancer cases and 1.2 million deaths a year in Europe.

The WHO has revealed that obesity is responsible for 200,000 cases of cancer in Europe.  Credit: Alamy
The WHO has revealed that obesity is responsible for 200,000 cases of cancer in Europe. Credit: Alamy

The WHO study also found that no country was on track to meet the non-communicable disease (NCD) target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025.

The report notes: “Alarmingly, there have been steady increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the WHO European Region and no Member State is on track to meet the target. to halt the rise in obesity by 2025″.

He continues: “In the WHO European region, obesity is likely to be directly responsible for at least 200,000 new cases of cancer per year, and this figure is expected to increase in the coming decades.

“For some countries in the region, obesity is predicted to overtake smoking as the main risk factor for preventable cancer.”

Of the report, O’Shea said: “We are starting to see the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on weight patterns among young people.

“We have a kind of separation of populations. About 2% of the population is super fit, has abs and a body to die for.

“And the rest of us fell into what’s now 65% overweight or obese adults and sadly the childhood statistics didn’t improve.”


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