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
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
"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.