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NZMA joins call for fast food ad ban

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

NZMA joins call for fast food ad ban

The New Zealand Medical Association supports the call for a ban on fast food advertising during children's television programmes.

The Public Health Association has advocated for a ban following the release of a report linking the time children spend watching television with an increased risk of obesity.

The NZMA supported such a ban on advertising junk food to children in its recent submission to the Health Select Committee's Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

"There is increasing evidence linking fast food advertising on television with childhood obesity, and it's time for drastic action," said NZMA Deputy Chairman Dr Don Simmers. "Voluntary steps taken by the food industry have not had a significant impact, as they are undermined by the constant television advertising of junk food to children."

Previous research has shown that New Zealand television has high levels of food advertising in children's peak viewing hours, the vast majority for foods which are unhealthy. These foods have been associated with an increased risk of obesity and dental caries in childhood, and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancers in adulthood.

"Research also shows that young children are often not able to tell the difference between advertising and education information, therefore it's best to get the junk food ads off television when kids are watching," said Dr Simmers.


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