Appeal to unwanted ads in the fight for food health
MORE than 500 people from the Mornington Peninsula have joined 10,000 organizations and individuals in Victoria in a campaign to protect children from unhealthy food and drink advertisements.
Cancer Council Victoria’s Food Fight calls on communities to protect children from junk food advertising in places where children play or learn.
The campaign has garnered support from local organizations including the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Peninsula Health, Frankston Council and The Community Plate, all of which work to strengthen the local food system and provide people with local, healthy and plentiful food.
Peninsula-based Community Plate Action Group president Tanita Northcott said the Food Fight campaign was an important opportunity to improve food environments to help children grow up healthy.
“Healthy environments are key to supporting healthy eating. In the absence of unhealthy food and drink advertising on public transport and around schools, we can continue to build a healthy and vibrant culture and food system for generations to come, safe from harm. influence of this powerful publicity,” she said.
Other organizations involved in Cancer Council Victoria’s campaign include VicHealth, Public Health Association of Australia, Nutrition Australia, Parents’ Voice and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, all of which are calling for the removal of unhealthy food and drink advertising unless 500 meters from schools and public sites. transport and public transport infrastructure (stations, platforms, stops and shelters).
The campaign comes as new data shows that spending on outdoor advertising – including on billboards, public transport, bus and tram stops – for unhealthy food and drink in Victoria has reached nearly $10 million between April 2021 and February 2022.
Ad spend on unhealthy takeaways, including ice cream and frozen confections and sugary drinks, made up the top three categories in the industry. Spending on unhealthy meals at $4.3 million was more than double that of desserts ($1.865 million) and sugary drinks ($1.863 million).
Jane Martin, executive director of the obesity program at Cancer Council Victoria, said the amount of spending highlights the scale of the problem and there is an urgent need for governments to use their power to protect Victorian children from publicity of the processed food industry.
“The processed food industry spends millions of dollars on advertising in public places, so our children are surrounded by it on their way to school, on public transport and in their lives,” he said. she stated.
“Every day they are bombarded with at least 25 unhealthy food and drink ads. We know this impacts what they eat, want to eat and demand, and we should do everything in our power to protect them from this influence.
“The community’s response to Food Fight is proof that thousands of Victorians feel the same way and that protecting our children from this harmful marketing should be a government priority.”
To find out more, visit cancervic.org.au/foodfight
First published in the Southern Peninsula News – July 19, 2022