We all want our kids to enjoy a healthy childhood, free from the influence of unhealthy food and drink advertising.
But the processed food industry spends millions of dollars every year to advertise unhealthy food and drink in places where they know children will see it.
61% of food and drink advertisements on Melbourne’s public transport network are for unhealthy food and drinks.
The Australian beverage industry spends
every year on advertising for sugary drinks.
Kids are bombarded with at least 25 unhealthy food and drink ads every day, including on public transport and around schools. Advertising works, and it’s influencing what our kids eat, want to eat and what they ask for.
This consumption of unhealthy, processed food and drinks can lead to excess weight that increases the risk of serious disease, including 13 types of cancer later in life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s time to put the health of our kids above the profits of the processed food industry.
To give our kids the best chance of growing up healthy we must protect them from the processed food industry. We want the Victorian Government to remove this advertising:
- within 500m of schools, and
- on public transport and public transport infrastructure (i.e. stations, platforms, stops and shelters).
Together, we can protect our kids from the processed food industry. Sign our statement to show your support.
Community support for change
We surveyed Victorian parents to better understand their views on unhealthy food and drink advertising to children. Here’s what we found:
- 84% of parents believe that what their children eat and drink is influenced by unhealthy food and drink advertising
- 82% of parents believe the processed food industry targets kids with unhealthy food and drink advertising
- 66% of parents believe governments play a role in ensuring kids are not exposed to these ads on public transport
- 80% of parents believe governments play a role in ensuring kids are not exposed to these ads near schools
The link between diet and cancer
Children need good nutrition for healthy growth and development. What children eat can affect not only their physical health, but their mood, mental health and learning. Good nutrition is also important for their long-term health and for prevention of serious diseases like cancer later in life.
To maintain a healthy diet, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we enjoy a wide variety of nutritious food and minimise processed foods high in saturated fats and added sugar.
However, research shows the majority of food products promoted by the food industry on Melbourne’s public transport network and near schools are for unhealthy food and drinks. Meanwhile, only 8.5% of children are meeting the recommended number of serves for fruit and vegetables.
Over a third of Aussie kids’ daily energy intake is coming from unhealthy food and drink – that is processed foods high in energy, fat, salt and sugar - such as commercial fast food, sugary drinks, chocolate and sweet snacks. The Australian Dietary Guidelines refer to these as discretionary food.
Unhealthy diets high in processed foods can also lead to being above a healthy weight. Being above a healthy weight in childhood increases the likelihood of being above a healthy weight in adulthood, which in turn increases the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer. Being above a healthy weight causes nearly 5,300 cancer cases in Australian adults each year – and they are mostly preventable.