More food education needed to tackle Ireland’s growing obesity problem

Dublin Senator and Fine Gael candidate for Dublin West Catherine Noone, says we need more of a focus on education surrounding food, if we are to tackle Ireland’s growing obesity problem. A new report today from safefood again points to the gap between people’s awareness levels and the reality of what is in our food.

“Research shows that 1 in 3 Irish people believe wraps are a healthier choice than a lunchtime sandwich but this new report shows that this is often not the case and lunchtime wraps bought from deli counters are often not as healthy as people think.

“This new report from safefood found that some wraps could contain up to 1,000 calories, with many also high in fat and salt. The survey, which analysed almost 240 takeaway wraps from 80 outlets across the island of Ireland, also found that many of the portion sizes were very large.

“Of the Chicken Tikka and Salad wraps surveyed, total calories ranged between 267 calories and 977 calories, with total fat ranging between 6g and 59g. The top three most popular wrap fillings were Chicken and Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad and Chicken Tikka & Salad. The report shows that eating a large chicken tikka wrap with soft drink and a bag of crisps could mean almost 1,400 calories are eaten just at lunchtime alone.

“The World Health Organisation recently predicted that Ireland would be the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. This stark warning means that we should be focussing more on ensuring that people are properly educated about what is in their food. Wraps and sandwiches can be a healthy option but people really need to choose smaller portion sizes and carefully choose their fillings, picking lean meat or fish and plenty of salad and vegetables.”

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