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Hodgson welcomes food advertising changes

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health


6 April 2006 Media Statement

Hodgson welcomes food advertising changes

Changes to advertising codes for children and food are a welcome addition to the fight against childhood obesity in New Zealand, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

Among the changes announced by the Advertising Standards Authourity (ASA) is a new guideline will limit celebrities from promoting foods or drinks in such a way that undermine a healthy diet consistent with the Ministry of Health's Food and Nutrition Guidelines for children.

The ASA has also recommended that advertising complies with the key messages of the government's Healthy Eating, Healthy Action strategy.

"This is a step in the right direction, though it's clear that we all need to be doing more to stop the obesity epidemic, which may see our children dying before we do," Pete Hodgson said. "Appropriate nutrition during the childhood years is essential for the maintenance of growth and good health."

"I also support another of the ASA's new guidelines, which states that foods high in sugar, fat and/or salt, especially those marketed to children, should not be portrayed in any way that suggests they are beneficial to health.

"Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society and I applaud that ASA for recognising this fact. Tightening up the Codes will help ensure that the best interests of the child will be a primary consideration."

Pete Hodgson said that important announcements about the government's work to fight obesity are expected later in the year.

ENDS

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