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Greens seek renewed action on junk food advertising

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 9 May 2011

The Australian Greens have welcomed research released today by the Obesity Policy Coalition and are supporting calls for legislation to protect children from unhealthy food advertising and promotion.

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert says the Government and Coalition wasted an opportunity earlier this year when Greens legislation consistent with the measures being advocated by the Obesity Policy Coalition was blocked by both major parties.

“Our legislation sought to encourage healthier eating habits among children and to prohibit the broadcasting of advertisements for junk food during certain times. This included extending the advertising ban to 9.30pm, a move which has the backing of 95% of respondents to the OPC’s consumer research,” Senator Siewert said today.

“This is part of the comprehensive approach we need to take to manage the obesity epidemic in our community.

“The current restriction on advertising to children does not represent the actual viewing times of children aged under 14. There is strong support among health organisations to take steps which ensure the advertising restrictions are more effective.

“Research clearly shows that the existing advertising industry code is inadequate, as the highest rating children’s shows are being saturated with junk food promotions.

“Despite 84% of consumers believing children should be protected from unhealthy food advertising and supporting stronger restrictions, there has been a lack of action from the federal government on this important issue. We took action and the Government and Coalition chose to block it.

“This is about the wellbeing of our community and future generations, ensuring that we have good health programs which generally improve the health of the Australian community,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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