Spotlight on junk food ads

Bellarine Community Hhealth child health and development dietitian Sally Hanks. (supplied)

Bellarine Community Health is joining in the call for governments to set higher standards on unhealthy food marketing in Australia.

BCH has signed up to a new petition that asks the processed food industry to put the health of children first.

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has recently released ‘Brands off our kids!’, a report highlighting the tactics used by the processed food industry to target children with unhealthy food marketing.

The report sets out four actions to protect all Australian children from unhealthy food marketing:

– Ensure TV, radio and cinemas are free from unhealthy food marketing from 6am to 9.30pm;

– Prevent unhealthy food companies from targeting children;

-Ensure public spaces and events are free from unhealthy food marketing; and

– Protect children from digital marketing of unhealthy food.

BCH child health and development dietitian Sally Hanks said recent data on typical food intake show only three per cent of Australian children consume enough vegetables a day and only half include fruit daily.

“We are also seeing that most children include at least three discretionary foods daily and about 3 per cent of household food budget is spent on eating out,” she said.

“As a dietitian and mother, I know how important it is that the places in our community are good for the health of everyone, especially our little ones.

“In my role as a child health and development dietitian, I see first-hand the impact that our junk food saturated environment has on children every day.

“As a parent of three young kids, I find the many ways they are constantly exposed to unhealthy food marketing in daily life worrying.

“But change can happen. For example, I know that some community places, such as sporting venues, are now giving out awards in their kids’ sports competitions that further promote their health and wellbeing.

“We all want to give our children the opportunity for a happy and healthy future.”