Now is the time to protect kids from junk food advertising

Updated 4 May 2022.

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Government property isn't the place for unhealthy food advertising.

Research we commissioned tells us that the current extent of unhealthy food and drink advertising children are exposed to in outdoor locations does not meet community expectations.

Seventy-one per cent of Western Australians agree that advertising for unhealthy food and sugary drinks should not be allowed on public transport or State Government owned property such as printed or digital billboards or posters.

Children should be free to learn, play and move about without being bombarded with ads for unhealthy food and drinks at every turn.

We know advertising works. It influences what our children eat, want to eat and what they ask for, which can undermine parent's efforts to provide a healthy diet.

Consumption of unhealthy food and drinks leads to poor diets, putting children at increased risk of chronic disease and 13 types of cancer later in life.

In partnership with Telethon Kids Institute and other leading Western Australian health agencies, we have renewed our call for the immediate ban of unhealthy food and drink advertising on WA Government property such as public transport, outdoor billboards, and sporting venues.

Previous campaigning was instrumental to the WA Government making a pre-election commitment to investigate such a policy, but we are yet to see any evidence of it becoming a reality.

Such policies are achievable and effective. Transport for London implemented a ban of unhealthy food and drink advertising in 2019 and evidence has just been released that shows the policy has been effective at decreasing predicted purchases on unhealthy food and drinks, with no impact on government revenue. The Australian Government has recognised that unhealthy food and drinks are not suitable for advertising to children by endorsing the application of its own guide to regulate food drink advertising on Federal Government property. 

In a united call to action with our partners, we published a full-page advertisement in the West Australian Newspaper on 4 May, 2022 and wrote to our State Members of Parliament, urging the WA Government to act without delay to protect our kids from unhealthy food and drink advertising. The time is now to remove unhealthy food and drink advertising from WA Government property.

 

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