Calls for government to put digital black-out on junk food ads

The Australian government is being urged to introduce a digital black-out ban on “unhealthy food and drink advertising”.

In a statement released this week, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called on government to enforce tougher laws on junk food advertising, saying it would help establish healthy eating habits from a young age.

In a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care, the AMA not only called for a digital black-out on junk food advertising, but also for heavy restrictions on television advertising, sponsorship, and new promotion and placement rules in the retail sector.

“Limiting junk food advertisements and marketing is about nurturing health in our children, providing them with the opportunity to make healthy choices well into adulthood,” AMA president, professor Steve Robson, said.

“Eating habits start young, when kids are highly susceptible to marketing ploys.

“Junk food marketing at the sports field, in the shops, on tv or online gives the wrong message by making unhealthy food feel completely normal.”

The submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care calls for restrictions on all junk food marketing across media platforms and outlets between 5.30am and 11pm, for the government to implement “tight restrictions on unhealthy food sponsorship of sports, arts and cultural events” and to address the processed food and advertising industries being allowed to regulate themselves.

“Allowing the processed food and advertising industries to set their own rules does not effectively protect children from exposure to unhealthy food marketing,” Robson said.

“We need to restrict placement and promotion of unhealthy food within retail environments, and we want a policy to extend beyond traditional media and include parts of our daily lives where children are influenced.”


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