The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has today congratulated the Greens for their commitment to restricting junk food advertising to children.
As part of a policy announcement today, the Greens have confirmed they will target junk food advertisers as part of a preventative health plan to tackle childhood obesity.
Specifically, their strategy will involve set times so that programs most popular with children would be free of junk food advertising on both free-to-air and Pay TV. Additionally, companies would be prohibited from using digital communications to target children with promotions for unhealthy products.
Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the OPC, welcomed the Greens' acknowledgement of the impact of junk food marketing on kids, and said it was time the Labor and Liberal parties followed suit.
"We know that television advertising influences what children want to eat, and what they do eat, and creates pester power, undermining efforts by parents to encourage their kids to eat healthily," said Ms Martin.
"Time and time again we have seen how ineffective industry self-regulation is, with virtually no penalties in place for repeat offenders. It is unethical for these companies to continue to aggressively promote their products to children when 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese.
"We call on the other political parties to stop prioritising corporate profits over children's health by taking a stand against advertisers who insist on promoting unhealthy food products to children," she said.
"Removing junk food advertising to children is an important and necessary step to help reduce the obesity epidemic in Australia. Of course, there are other measures that also need to be taken, including restricting junk and fast food brands from sponsoring sport, particularly children's sport, and limiting unhealthy food and drink products in schools, hospitals and other public places," said Ms Martin.
‘The Greens' policy announcement today is a step in the right direction, and we urge other political parties to make similar commitments to the future health of our children."
The Obesity Policy Coalition is a group of leading public health agencies who are concerned about the escalating levels of overweight and obesity, particularly in children.
The Obesity Policy Coalition is a partnership between Diabetes Australia - Vic, Cancer Council Victoria and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University, with funding from VicHealth.