LiveLighter takes the fight to junk food

Posted 5 Apr 2016.

  • It is estimated that the average Australian family spends more than half of their food dollars on junk food.
  • In twelve months, Australians consumed more than 3 billion servings of junk food (including sugary drinks) purchased from fast food outlets alone.
  • Overweight and obesity is contributing to fatty liver disease in one in four adults, and one in eight adolescents in Australia.
  • A typical café muffin contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, and four teaspoons of fat - it is estimated consuming just one of these a day can lead to a weight gain of more than 17 kilograms in one year.

The LiveLighter Campaign is today urging West Australians to reduce their consumption of junk food as a key strategy to reduce the epidemic of overweight and obesity.

Chair of the Australian Dietary Guidelines committee, Professor Amanda Lee of University of Queensland said that Australians are spending far too much money on junk food, and it's affecting our health.

"Considering that poor diet is now the number one risk factor contributing to burden of disease globally and in Australia, the amount of junk food we're consuming is extremely concerning.

"Our new data show that Australian families are spending about 58 per cent of their food dollar on junk foods and drinks," said Professor Lee.

LiveLighter Campaign Director, Maria Szybiak, said the new advertisements were designed to make people stop and think about where they were purchasing junk food, how often, and what they were really consuming.

"Junk food is easily available, and marketed extensively. You can't fill up your car with petrol these days without the offer of junk food in exchange for discounted fuel. All you really get for your discount is a ‘grabbable gut' around your waist and ‘toxic fat' around your vital organs."

Alarmingly, a new condition is being added to the extensive menu of diseases related to overweight and obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

"Fatty liver disease is now the most common liver condition in Australia, affecting one in four Australian adults, and one in eight Australian adolescents," said Leon Adams, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at University of Western Australia.

"Being overweight or obese as a result of a high energy diet, is the leading risk factor for developing fatty liver disease," he said.

Department of Health WA Chief Health Officer, Professor Tarun Weeramanthri said he expects the new direction for the campaign to resonate with the public.

"We have already seen very positive impacts from LiveLighter‘s hard hitting messages, particularly strong awareness of the campaign, and the fact people are listening and understanding those messages.

"West Australians see the advertisements as personally relevant and are beginning to think about the issues of overweight and obesity, and make changes to lead a healthier lifestyle.

"I expect this new focus will help educate and inform the community on the negative health impacts of consuming too much junk food, too often."

This new focus of the LiveLighter Campaign will feature radio, television, billboard, online and print advertisements.

To find out more or to view the advertisement, visit

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