Obesity Expert Says Supermarket Meal Deals Should Be “Illegal!”

Obesity Expert Says Supermarket Meal Deals Should Be “Illegal!”

As far as this obesity expert is concerned, meal deals in supermarkets should be made “illegal!”

That’s right! According to the Health Service Executive’s clinical lead, Dr. Donal O’Shea, it is important that the public is well aware of the tactics supermarkets use to get their customers to buy more food.

The expert shared this and more while on The Pat Kenny Show, stressing that shop staff members are actually well trained to actively try to upsell snacks to shoppers.

O’Shea’s warning came after the World Health Organization also warned that, across the whole continent of Europe, obesity has reached “epidemic proportions.”

“Alarmingly, there’s been a consistent increase in the prevalence of obesity in the WHO European region and no member state is now on track to reach the target of halting the rise in overweight and obesity by 2025. Across the entire WHO European region, obesity is likely to be responsible for at least 200,000 new cancer cases directly every year, with this figure projected to rise through the coming decades. For some countries within this region, it’s predicted that obesity will overtake smoking as the main risk factor for preventable cancer,” the WHO report reads.

While on the show, the host told O’Shea that, according to a listener, a soft drink and sandwich combo at their local supermarket cost €4.55 but when adding a pack of chips to the purchase, the total price ended up being smaller – €3.99!

Hearing this, O’Shea said that “Literally, it should be illegal. The people in the supermarkets – the workers in the supermarkets and in the petrol stations – they are trained to offer that special offer. And 70 per cent of people say no the first time, but if the person behind the counter says ‘well are you sure, it is a good offer’. Then 30 per cent will then say ‘ah yeah, go on’. They’re actually trained because the industry has all the stats and knows how to prompt and know how to promote consumption. We have to be super aware of that and just try to resist it.”

O’Shea also addressed the WHO report, pointing out that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions is starting to show on young people’s weight patterns as well.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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