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Shamburger video evens stakes on junk food advertising blitz to children

Thursday 30 April, 2009


Parents, leading health and consumer groups have renewed calls for tougher advertising regulations, after releasing figures warning that Australian children are force fed about 2200 junk food advertisements on television per year. 

The Coalition on Food Advertising to Children (CFAC), which includes 15 prominent Australian public health groups including Cancer Council, says that children who watch just two hours of television per day see 18 hours per year of unhealthy, obesity-inducing advertisements for food like chips, burgers, confectionery and soft drinks - the equivalent of watching junk food advertisements for three full school days.

CFAC hit back today with the launch of a new online campaign and humorous 35 second video clip that draws comparisons between junk food commercials and door-to-door salesmen touting for kids' business. 

Available at, the campaign urges a government ban on unhealthy food advertisements during children's viewing hours, and enables viewers to email the Federal Minister for Health to express their concern. 

Kathy Chapman, nutritionist and Chair of CFAC, said "We shouldn't be surprised that one in four children is obese or overweight, when our society is full of enticements to eat unhealthy food.

"I sympathise with parents attempting to encourage their kids to eat healthily when they have to compete with the country's top ten food producers, who pump more than $375 million annually into food marketing. 

"The federal government's efforts to promote healthy lifestyle messages can't compete with the food industry, when the government is outspent six to one on marketing."

Clare Hughes, Senior Policy Officer at Choice added:  "We know nine out of ten parents support a ban on junk food advertisements targeting kids, and we have launched the ShamBurger video campaign to give them a voice on this important issue. 

"I encourage parents to visit the website, forward the video to friends and family, and join our campaign to tell the government that they support a ban on junk food advertising to children," she said. 

The ShamBurger video clip was created with support from the Coalition on Food Advertising to Children, Cancer Council, Choice, Parents Jury, Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA and Obesity Policy Coalition.  To view the video clip visit: