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Minister Seeks To Clarify Comments On Restricting Availability Of 'Top Shelf' Foods

A spokesperson for the Department of Health has confirmed to Retail Intelligence that the government has "no plans to restrict the sale of foods high in sugar and saturated fat", despite comments by Minister Alex White last week that such proposals were being considered.

Last Wednesday, Minister White told the Seanad that among the the Special Action Group on Obesity (SAGO) is currently concentrating on a "range of measures" to combat the growing obesity trend, including measures to "restrict the availability of top shelf food and drinks".

'Top shelf' food and drinks in this instance refer to products at the top of the Safefood food pyramid, which are high in sugar, fat or salt.

The Department spokesperson sought to clarify the Minister's comments, telling Retail Intelligence: "What Minister White was referring to was the establishment, under the aegis of the Special Action Group on Obesity, of a working group to investigate and develop a range of options to reduce consumption of top shelf foods and to support healthy eating in accordance with the guidelines published in this Department's 'Guide to Healthy Eating Using the Food Pyramid' which were revised and published in 2012.

"The SAGO working group have prepared a draft report which will be presented to the Minister in the coming weeks for his consideration."

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