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New food code doesn't go far enough - Greens

6 April 2006

New food code doesn't go far enough - Greens

Today's Advertising Standards Authority decision that celebrities should not be used to promote unhealthy food to children has been welcomed by the Green Party.

"Children can be particularly susceptible to advertising messages and using celebrities to promote unhealthy food encourages and endorses bad eating habits and undermines the good work that many parents are doing," Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"However, while it is pleasing to see that the Authority's review of Children's and Food Advertising Codes has determined that advertisers will have to take more responsibility for the messages they send to children, in our view the review does not go nearly far enough. It should be just as unacceptable to advertise unhealthy food to children, as it is to advertise liquor or tobacco to them.

"New regulations are needed to protect our children from the overwhelming pressures put on them by advertising. It is not enough to just suggest, as the review does, that advertisers not promote excessive consumption of treat or unhealthy food. Any advertising of these kinds of food to young people undermines the message that healthy food is best.

"What the Green Party would like to see is a prohibition on any advertising of unhealthy food to children, Ms Kedgley says.

"It is widely recognised that the advertising of unhealthy food to children is a significant contributor to the present obesity epidemic. If we want to improve the health of our kids then we must tackle this issue head on with tough rules that prevent companies from targeting children and encouraging them to eat unhealthy food."

ENDS

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