Lobby group the Food for Health Alliance has welcomed a federal private member’s bill that would restrict unhealthy food and drink advertising during set times on TV and radio, and at all times online.
The Broadcasting Services Amendment (Healthy Kids Advertising) Bill 2023 tabled by independent federal MP Sophie Scamps proposes amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to protect children from exposure to unhealthy food marketing on TV and radio including subscription (streaming) services between 6 am and 9.30 pm and online at all times.
Food for Health Alliance executive manager Jane Martin said Australian children should be free to enjoy TV shows with their family, connect with friends on social media or search online for entertainment and education without being bombarded by unhealthy food or drink ads.
“Our children cannot escape this wallpaper of unhealthy food marketing that influences what they prefer, choose and eat," said Martin.
"The processed food industry knows this marketing works, that’s why they spend millions of dollars every year targeting kids with unhealthy food and drink ads. This harmful marketing shapes their diet and tastes as they grow, increasing the risks of obesity and chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
“Our community supports action. Seven in 10 Australians agree that government should step in and protect children from unhealthy food marketing. Regulations are urgently needed to protect children from pervasive food industry marketing tactics used to hook kids into consuming unhealthy foods and sugary drinks.
“Strong regulation of unhealthy food marketing may also encourage food manufacturers to produce and promote healthier products over unhealthy foods.”
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