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Ban the Burger Ad - Excuse the Violence

MEDIA RELEASE

16 May 2008

Ban the Burger Ad - Excuse the Violence, Profanity and Sexual Content

Family First NZ is labelling a restriction on television ads for so-called 'unhealthy foods and drinks' as politically correct and ideological nonsense.

"Surveys have shown far more concern about the level of violence, explicit sexual content and offensive language on our television screens," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "Yet this has been completely ignored and the Television Broadcasters Council is more interested in banning the burger and fizzy drink ad."

"Fast food is not the culprit of increasing obesity rates. It is parents failing to act as appropriate 'gatekeepers' of what children eat. Advertisements are an 'invitation to treat' - not a command to purchase."

"Kids deserve treats. That's one of the joys of childhood. Advertisements aren't the problem. Parents simply need to be encouraged to adopt an 'everything in moderation' policy, and to increase the quantity of healthy food while still enjoying the occasional treat."

Jennifer O'Dea who is Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Health Education at the University of Sydney sums it up best in her recent article in Nutrition and Dietetics. She says "Recent research suggests that parents are still considered by children and adolescents to be the gatekeepers of the family food supply and that parents act as important role models for children's eating behaviours."

"We should be far more concerned about the polluting of the minds of our children through the offensive material continually being exposed to them," says Mr McCoskrie.

"The apparent moral conscience of the broadcasters is hypocritical, given the steady diet of violence, offensive language and behaviour being fed into family homes every day."

ENDS

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