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Dairy Council hits out at cheese ads restriction

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has proposed a Children’s Commercial Communications Code, under which cheese would be classed as a ‘less healthy food’.

Image: Roxanne Ready via Flickr.com

THE NATIONAL DAIRY Council has hit out at a proposed restriction in cheese advertising, saying it would give children and teenagers ‘mixed messages’ about the foodstuff.

The move comes after the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) proposed an advertising code, the Children’s Commercial Communications Code, based on Britain’s Nutrient Profiling Model.

Under this model, different food types are classified, and the advertising of cheese to children under the age of 18 would be banned.

This is because it would be seen as a less healthy food.

However, the NDC says that this would mean that cheese would be represented as less healthy than diet carbonated drinks, which do not have a similar nutritional profile to cheese.

Zoë Kavanagh, Chief Executive of The National Dairy Council said that reclassifying of cheese as a ‘less healthy’ food  ”will result in misinformation and inaccuracies among the general public”.

She also said there would be confusion regarding healthy eating for parents and children and significant “reputational damage” to a food group which is an important part of our economy.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Catherine Logan, nutrition manager at the NDC, said that cheese contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

“If you compare the nutritional value of some of the diet carbonated beverages and cheese, cheese would have a lot to offer nutritionally as a part of a healthy diet.”

She said that 42 per cent of girls and 23 per cent of teen boys have insufficient calcium intakes in Ireland.

The Children’s Commercial Communications Code is open to public consultation until Friday 14 October.

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