It’s Time to Protect Victorian Children from Unhealthy Food and Drink Advertising near Schools and on Public Transport
A healthy childhood sets the foundation for a healthy future. Victorian children should be able to go about their lives in an environment that supports their health and wellbeing, setting them up for the best start in life.
Instead, the processed food industry spends millions of dollars every year to advertise unhealthy food and drinks in places where they know children will see it as they go about their daily lives, including on public transport and near schools. 1, 2
Unhealthy food and drink advertising influences what children eat, want to eat and what they buy. 3 Unhealthy diets put children at risk of cancer and other serious diseases later in life. 4, 5
In 2019, over 60% of food and drink advertisements on Melbourne’s public transport network and near schools were for unhealthy food and drinks. 6
All state and territory governments have the opportunity to remove unhealthy food and drink advertising within 500m of schools, and on public transport and public transport infrastructure (i.e. stations, platforms, stops and shelters). The Australian Capital Territory Government, for example, has removed unhealthy food advertising on all government-run bus and light rail services, and commitments from the Western Australian and Queensland governments will address unhealthy food advertising on government-owned assets. These actions will help to protect children where they commute, learn and play.
It’s time to put the health and wellbeing of our children above the profits of the processed food industry.