Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Marketing of junk food has to go say experts:

The Obesity Policy Coalition says self-regulation of unhealthy food advertising and marketing has failed and must be restricted.
By Motherpedia
Date: November 12 2012
Editor Rating:

A group of leading health organisations has put pressure on the food industry today with the release of a new report on the self-regulatory system for food marketing.

The report, entitled Exposing the Charade, shows how the advertising codes that claim to protect children from junk food advertising has failed.

“We have interrogated the current system and found it has failed in three key ways, the Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, Jane Martin, said.

“The codes themselves are seriously flawed, administration and enforcement of the codes are inadequate, and finally despite the food industry introducing more codes two years ago, there is no evidence any of these have reduced children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising.”  

She said the investigation also found there were major inconsistencies in the way decisions were made by the various review agencies such as the Advertising Standards Board and there was an inherent conflict of interest in self-regulation which worked against the existence of effective codes.  

The report also highlighted what it termed a “litany of loopholes” that the food industry uses to continue to promote their products.

According to the report, there is a need for a fundamental shift in the way food advertising is regulated.

“The food industry has been given ample opportunity. The government must now call ‘time’ on the charade of self-regulation and legislate to give children meaningful protection from the influence of unhealthy food marketing.

“Legislation to comprehensively restrict junk food marketing and advertising would be one of the most effective and cost-effective interventions to address the childhood overweight and obesity crisis. It would also support other strategies to improve children’s diets, nutrition and health such as physical activity and nutrition programs in schools,” said Ms Martin. 

The report has been sent to all state and Federal Health Ministers.

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