Industry tactics on Public Health Bill questioned
Food industry tactics on Public Health Bill questioned
The food industry has been giving a misleading message about how the health sector wants to address obesity, a new report shows. The report, by health policy analyst John White, analysed the 204 submissions to the Health Select Committee on the Public Health Bill.
The report was released today by Dr Robyn Toomath, chairperson of the group Fight the Obesity Epidemic (FOE).
“The report shows clearly that there is a huge gap between what health people want and the picture being painted by the food industry”, Dr Toomath said. “Many submissions from industry are based on a paper from an agency called the Foundation for Advertising Research (FAR) which provides ridiculous examples and contains serious errors.”
“By contrast, the health sector believes that freedom of choice will be enhanced by application of the new Act. There is the potential, for example, to take pressure off parents by reducing exposure of their children to ads for junk food. As it is, children are constantly having their choices manipulated by the advertising industry.”
“It is clear that the intent of the Public Health Bill is to create an environment in which healthy choices are more accessible and easier, and that health sector proposals for action under the Public Health Bill will in fact increase freedom of choice”, Dr Toomath said.
The report is available on the FOE website, www.foe.org.nz