An Oireachtas report on childhood obesity is calling for new planning regulations to prevent fast food outlets opening near schools.

The Children’s Committee also calls for home economics to be a compulsory subject for junior cycle students.

Among the 20 main recommendations is the idea of making it compulsory for post-primary students to take home economics for the junior cycle.

The committee wants a ban on vending machines in schools, stricter controls on junk food advertising and an audit to find out which schools need better sports facilities.

It also urges the government to tighten planning laws nationwide, to prevent the opening of new fast-food outlets near schools.

The report wants measures to tackle higher obesity levels among children from lower income areas suggesting a study to identify ‘obesity hotspots’ and areas suffering food poverty.

– Digital Desk

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