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Food Award reflect parent rebellion against giants

Food Awards reflect parent rebellion against food giants

Food giants and slick marketers should take notice of the results of this year’s Children’s Food Awards presented by the Green Party, the Safe Food Campaign and the Parents’ Centre at a special function at the Beehive today, Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The results reflect a growing rebellion by parents at the way food corporations are targeting children, encouraging them to crave unhealthy foods and to pester their parents to buy them, Ms Kedgley says.

Coca Cola took out the Trojan Horse Award for pushing vending machines selling sugar loaded fizzy drinks in schools and Kellogg’s Bart Simpson ‘Eat my shorts’ Cereal, took out the Fancy Dress Award for the worst packaging of a food product high in sugar, fat, salt or additives that is obviously designed to win the hearts of children.

McDonalds took out two of the worst awards the Pester Power Award for saturation advertising, use of sporting heroes, and toys for children, and the Advertising Assault Award for its television commercial featuring a Mum eating salad, child eating combo for not promoting healthy options for children too.

Watties/Heinz won the Cleaning up the Food Chain Most Improved Award for reducing salt and can sizes, producing organic baby food, and being GE-Free, and breast milk was named the Cleanest, Greenest Food.

“The 636 New Zealanders who voted for the finalists announced today are sending a clear message to food manufacturers to stop marketing unhealthy food, laden with sugar and fat, to our children, and to reformulate food aimed at children to improve its nutrition and lower its fat, sugar, salt and additive content,” Ms Kedgley said.

“Its disappointing that despite the Food Industry Accord last year and the industry’s claim it wants to be part of the solution to obesity, there has been no let-up in the relentless marketing of unhealthy food to children.”

“The food industry is still seeking to bypass parents and to target kids at every possible moment, including in schools and pre-schools. Peer pressure and pester power make it increasingly difficult for parents to feed their children well, and that’s why parents are fighting back against these sort of pressures.”

“We must improve the food on offer to our children if our children are not to eat themselves into an early grave, and if the predictions of some nutritionists that parents will come to outlive their children, are not to come true. We hope these awards will encourage companies to listen to what parents want for their children and to produce healthier, more nutritious food as a result.”

In addition the awards included a further category called the 'Kids Not Consumers' award. This is for "schools or pre-schools that don't allow vending machines in schools or food companies to market their products in classrooms or playgrounds, and actively embrace healthy eating policies in school canteens and classrooms".

All nominated schools receive the award as long as they meet the criteria.

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