Independent MP Dr Sophie Scamps has introduced a Private Members Bill into federal parliament to ban unhealthy food marketing on TV, radio and online.
How will this Bill work?
The Healthy Kids’ Advertising Bill 2023aims to protect children from unhealthy food marketing by amending the Broadcasting Services Act 1992to remove ads on TV and radio between the hours of 6am and 9.30pm and an outright ban of unhealthy food marketing from all online environments including social media.
Another good aspect of this Bill is that it proposes to use the government-designed criteria previously endorsed byCOAG Health Ministers to identify unhealthy food and drink that shouldn’t be marketed to children. Our research has shown that this criteria is simple to use and aligned with the Australian Dietary Guideline advice.
Why is this Bill needed?
Currently, 1 in 4 children live with overweight or obesity. This can lead to obesity in adulthood and an increased risk of 13 different types of cancer and other serious chronic diseases later in life. There is clear evidence that children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing influences what they want to eat and can warp their perception of what a healthy diet looks like. More than $550 million is spent on food and drink advertising in Australia, of which the majority promotes unhealthy products. Research has shown that restricting junk food advertising on TV between the hours of 6am and 9.30pm alone would result in $778 million in healthcare savings.
This Bill is important first step in working towards reducing childhood obesity rates and encouraging Australian children to eat a healthy and balanced diet.