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Greens disappointed over guidelines for kids TV

28 March 2001
Greens disappointed over voluntary ad guidelines for kids TV

The Green Party is deeply disappointed that the Government appears to have abandoned its pre-election promise to eliminate as a priority advertising around all children's programmes.

The voluntary guidelines stipulating that commercials can only be screened twice during every hour of children's television will not result in any reduction in the amount of advertising shown during children's programmes.

Green MP Sue Kedgley said the guidelines appear to be a cynical attempt by broadcasters to avoid any Government intervention to bring about a genuine reduction in the number of ads during children's programmes.

"On average New Zealand children watch more than two hours of television every day and many spend more time in front of television than they do in school. This means many New Zealand children are being exposed to a barrage of ads every day," she said.

Ms Kedgley said many children are unable to distinguish between advertising and programme content.

Ms Kedgley said she was also concerned that 63 per cent of food avertisements screened during children's programmes advertise high fat, high sugar, low nutrient junk food that we should be discouraging children from eating.

"At the very least our Government should be revising the codes of practice for children to ensure that any food advertisements screened during childrens television should meet nationally agreed nutritional guidelines.

"The foods which appear most often in television ads are the very foods that have been implicated in childhood obesity, dental problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers in adults," Ms Kedgley said.

"Poor diet is a very serious health issue and there is little point in spending money in nutrition education if the healthy eating messages directed at children are undermined as soon as they sit down in front of television.

"If we are serious about improving the health of our children we must act immediately to restrict the flood of advertisements for unhealthy foods they are being exposed to."

ENDS

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