It is also recommending increased access to free drinking water

A report on childhood obesity is recommending local planning powers be strengthened, to keep fast food outlets away from schools.

The Report on Tackling Childhood Obesity has been published by the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.

It makes 20 headline recommendations - including setting targets for reducing the socio-economic inequalities that underpin childhood obesity, and targeted interventions to address issues such as food poverty that influence obesity in low-income households.

It is also recommending increased access to free drinking water in schools, a ban on vending machines and to make Home Economics a compulsory post-primary subject.

The report also says more should be done to restrict marketing of unhealthy foods during TV programmes with "significant youth audiences."

From March to October, the committee met with policy stakeholders - including teachers, nutritionists, broadcasting authorities and urban planners.