Cancer Council is urging all health ministers not to be fooled by sugar coated claims that food industry efforts have been successful in reducing junk food advertising to children.
While food industry groups were last week heralding the success of their codes and announcing so-called improvements, Cancer Council is calling on all Health Ministers who will meet this Friday to discuss food regulation codes to introduce more stringent food advertising regulations that will protect children from junk food advertising.
Kathy Chapman, Director of Health Strategies for Cancer Council NSW said, the sugar coated code should be scrapped and replaced with clear and meaningful regulations that ultimately protect children from junk food advertising and now is the time for Health Ministers to act.
“The voluntary code has failed to reduce the number of junk food advertisements screened specifically during the times when most numbers of children are watching their favourite programs.
“Cancer Council has been involved in a review process led by the South Australia and Commonwealth governments and we have provided them with the results from our new independent research which shows that food companies are continuing to exploit loopholes in both mandatory advertising standards and voluntary codes.
“One of the studies showed that since the introduction of the voluntary food industry code five years ago, we’ve seen little or no change in the amount of unhealthy food advertising aimed at children as they still promote things like chocolate, fast food and ice-cream. On top of that, the rate of healthy food advertising has nearly halved over that period, which is very concerning”, she said.
Ms Chapman went on to say that Health Ministers should not let the wool be pulled over their eyes by food industries claims that self regulation is working, the ministers need to put children’s health first and crackdown on advertisers who breach regulations.
“The main issue we need to remember is that nearly one in four Australian children are currently overweight or obese and junk food companies have failed to clean up their act under voluntary self regulations.
“It’s time for governments to implement regulation that will protect children from junk food advertising and help protect future generations from suffering from obesity related illnesses such as diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease”.

(Source: Cancer Council NSW)
For more information on nutrition, including information on types and composition of food, nutrition and people, conditions related to nutrition, and diets and recipes, as well as some useful videos and tools, see Nutrition.
calendar icon Article Date: 23/11/2012
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