OPC applauds Greens' policy to phase out junk food advertising from junior sport and outdoor areas

Friday 5 September, 2014

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) applauds The Greens on the launch of its new plan to combat harmful advertising to children and urges other political parties to follow suit.

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the OPC, said: "When 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese and poor diet is a leading risk factor for the burden of disease, there has never been a more important time for a policy that adequately protects kids. Restricting junk food advertising is a critical element of any successful obesity prevention strategy."

We are making great strides towards creating healthier environments for everyone through the fantastic work that's being done in the Healthy Together Communities here in Victoria. But junk food advertising in children's settings is undermining this work and sending mixed messages to our kids."

"McDonald's sponsor children's sports in Victoria, such as Little Athletics and Hoop Time basketball, and we have Milo sponsoring junior cricket programs including Milo Kanga Cricket and Milo in2 Cricket. By 'partnering' with junior sporting clubs, food companies exploit children's vulnerability and engender positive associations. Involvement in junior sports not only allows opportunities to introduce children to unhealthy products, but also creates positive attitudes and goodwill towards these brands with participants, parents and clubs."

"Victoria successfully removed tobacco sponsorship from all sporting codes. This initiative could be replicated to keep children's sport free of commercial influence without the intrusion of junk food marketing and to give kids a chance to form lifelong healthy diets and lifestyles."

"We know that advertising influences children's diets and what they want to eat, which is why the World Health Organization recommends that children's sport is free of junk food promotion. Now is the time for Australia to step up and protect our children's health."

We are calling on the other political parties to follow suit and commit to kicking junk food out of kid's sport. Now more than ever, it is crucial to have a focus on policies, programs and social marketing that will set our children up to make it easier for them to have healthier choices and adopt healthier lifestyles," she said.

Updated: 05 Sep, 2014