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Size of kids' bottoms more important than profit

Size of kids' bottoms more important than advertisers' bottom-line

An advertising industry conference on obesity is a straightforward propaganda exercise, and Associate Minister of Health Damien O'Connor should not be legitimising it by hosting it in Parliament, Green Party Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

"I'm all for freedom of speech, but this is not a genuine debate about how to deal with the serious public health issue of rising obesity rates in New Zealand, especially among children," Ms Kedgley said.

"The Advertising Standards Authority conference in Parliament tomorrow, on obesity and children, is a blatant propaganda session for the advertising industry to argue against any regulation of junk food advertising.

"The Associate Minister is giving the conference legitimacy by hosting it. It gives the impression he is more concerned with pleasing the advertising industry than with addressing this serious public health issue head-on," Ms Kedgley said.

The Government is considering a ban on the advertising of junk food to children as part of the current review of public health legislation.

Ms Kedgley said serious, impartial debate was needed about how to protect the health of our young people, who were in danger of following their American peers down the path of an obesity epidemic.

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