April 29 2022 Food Fight: Protecting Victorian kids from unhealthy food and drink advertising
If you are a parent whose child has ever pleaded with you for food or drink they’ve seen advertised at some point during their day, then you will know how effective just one of these unhealthy food ads can be. But did you know that our kids are being hit with at least 25 ads for unhealthy food and drink every single day?
In Melbourne alone, over 60% of food ads on Melbourne’s public transport network and near schools promote unhealthy food and drinks.
Unsurprisingly, this constant exposure to unhealthy food and drink advertising is having a big impact on our kids, shaping what they eat, want to eat and of course, what they ask for.
In fact, new research has shown exactly how these types of advertisements impacts children, with a national survey of high school students finding:
Children who were exposed to high levels of food and drink advertising were:
- more than twice as likely to have tried a new food and drink product compared to children with low exposure.
- twice as likely to ask a parent for a product they had seen advertised.
- more likely to report a high consumption of unhealthy food and drinks.
Simply put, exposure to this advertising drives interest in and intake of these foods and drinks. This can have a serious impact on the health of our kids now and into the future, increasing the risk of serious diseases including 13 types of cancer in adulthood.
So, how can we protect our kids from this advertising?
We all want our kids to grow up in environments that support their health and wellbeing and set them up for a healthy future, but how do we achieve this with unhealthy food and drink ads surrounding them at every turn?
Cancer Council Victoria has said enough is enough and has launched a new campaign, Food Fight!, to help protect children from this advertising where they commute, learn and play.
The campaign launched in March across TV, radio and digital channels with Parents’ Voice representative and mum of four, Asherly Bradac, adding her voice to the campaign as a parent spokesperson.
Check out some behind the scenes footage from the launch below and hear why Asherly wants to see this advertising removed from her kids’ lives.
Add your voice
To give our kids the best chance of growing up healthy, we need to protect them from unhealthy food and drink advertising. To do this, Cancer Council Victoria is calling for the removal of this advertising:
- within 500m of schools, and;
- on public transport and public transport infrastructure (i.e. stations, platforms, stops and shelters).
Already, the campaign has over 6,000 signatures from parents, experts and organisations across Victoria and this number is growing every day. You can help protect Victorian kids from unhealthy food and drink advertising by adding your name to the campaign.
It’s time to stop the processed food industry influencing our kids with unhealthy food and drink advertising. There’s something far too important at stake – the health of our kids.
 Gascoyne C, Scully M, Wakefield M, Morley B. Is food and drink marketing across various settings associated with dietary choices and intake among Australian adolescents? Findings from a national cross-sectional survey. The Austral-Asia Obesity Research Update; Brisbane, Australia, 22 July 2021.