Government report calls for 'No Fry Zones' around Irish schools
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Government report calls for 'No Fry Zones' around Irish schools

KEBAB SHOPS, fried chicken restaurants, and chippers could all be banned from opening near schools under planning regulations proposed in a government report.

The Oireachtas Children's Committee Report on Childhood Obesity outlines 20 recommendations designed to help Ireland's emerging obesity crisis.

Chief among these is the implementation of "No Fry Zones" that would prevent fast food outlets from opening and operating near to schools.

The report also calls for stricter controls on junk food advertising along with a ban on vending machines selling sweets, snacks and soft drinks in schools.

The Oireachtas Children's Committee Report is also calling on the authorities to help identify "obesity hotspots" across Ireland - areas where lower-income families suffer from food poverty.

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Another measure proposed in the new report is a nationwide audit to help assess school sports facilities and whether they could benefit from new equipment and other upgrades.

Speaking to Newstalk, the chair of the committee behind the report Alan Farrell TD urged the government to take action.

"We owe it to our children, younger citizens, and future generations to ensure action is taken now to provide them with the skills, knowledge and supports to live healthier lives, and have stronger futures," he said.

"By equipping our younger generation with the necessary knowledge and skills, and providing the necessary supports to families, communities, schools, and sectors of society which work directly with young people, including the youth work sector, we can empower children and young people to lead healthier lives as they grow older."

Previous proposals put forward to try and combat Ireland's obesity problem include the introduction of a fast food tax.

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(Getty by Cate Gillon)

The Irish Heart Foundation believes fast food outlets should be taxed at the highest possible rate of VAT, to help combat these issues.

Ireland currently has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe with around one in every four adults falling under the technical classification of obese.

More concerning still, one in four children from the Emerald Isle are now classed as overweight, according to figures compiled by the World Health Organisation.