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Australian kids ‘target’ of unhealthy food advertising

A study conducted by Cancer Council NSW researchers has revealed that food companies Down Under are still targeting children when marketing unhealthy foods.

As such businesses use their own standards when deciding whether foods are suitable for marketing to kids, unhealthy options are often featured, according to the organisation.

The Australian study looked at food advertising in Sydney for two weeks, between the hours of 6am and 9pm, studying programmes shown on three channels. When the researchers assessed the product’s nutritional content using the standards provided by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, the products were considered unhealthy in over 60% of the adverts. Among the items promoted to children were Kellogg’s Coco Pops and Nestle Smarties.

Clare Hughes, the author of the study and manager for the Council’s nutrition programme, said that although the adverts for children’s meals are governed by the fast food code, adult foods are permitted to be advertised to children.

A spokesperson for the Australian Food and Grocery Council, however, said that the viewing times that were monitored during the study would not be the times when a child would be watching TV. They also pointed out that bans on advertising overseas aimed at children had not had a positive effect on child obesity levels.

In the UK, children are being encouraged to eat nutritious snacks, which include healthy tuckshop foods. Tyne and Wear children are among those being encouraged to eat healthier snacks rather than tucking into sugar-laden foods.

Posted by Mark
August 26, 2014

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