Children's Advertising Code - Submission by the Dental Health Foundation, Ireland

5 Jun 2003

The Dental Health Foundation, Ireland welcomes the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland’ s calls for submissions in response to its phase 1 Consultation Document 2003 Children’s Advertising Code.The Foundation has studied the details of this document and is in agreement with the Commission’s intent and in facilitating consultation on the proposed process and key terms to be used. It particularly welcomes the approach that the Commission proposes to take to the development of research in relation to children’s advertising. The Dental Health Foundation has important concerns about the advertising of products to children, which have a detrimental effect on their oral health and overall well-being. Irish Children now rank amongst the highest consumers of confectionery and soft drinks in twenty-eight countries internationally. For example, compared to Canada and Norway, our children eat almost four times more sweets and chocolate and drink three times as many soft drinks.(1)Irish children attending schools in disadvantaged areas suffer poorer oral health than their middle class counterparts and the Foundation’s own research conducted with parents and teachers of these children reported on their concerns about the nature of marketing and advertising of these products (2). The absence of independent evidence based national data on these issues contributes negatively to the Government’s plans for the health and social gain of Irish childrenGood oral health is essential for the overall health and well being of all Irish children. Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks mitigates against maintaining and improving the dental health of our children. The Dental Health Foundation believes that the work of the Broadcasting Commission in the area of Children's Advertising will form an integral step for future health improvement planning for Irish Children’s oral health and general well being.References:HBSC (2000) Health Behaviour in School Children International Report, Geneva, WHO.Oral Health in Disadvantaged Schools in the Eastern Region (2001) published by the Dental Health Foundation, Ireland in association with the Northern Area Health Board, the East Coast Area Health Board, the South Western Area Health Board and the Health Promotion Unit, Department of Health and Children.Further details - contact:
Deirdre Sadlier
Executive Director
Dental Health Foundation, Ireland
26 Harcourt Street
Dublin 2