Obesity scorecard shows restricting unhealthy food marketing should be a priority for the NSW government
What has the NSW government been doing to address obesity rates? Not enough according to the latest scorecard from Deakin University researchers.
The NSW scorecard
The researchers asked experts to rate how governments are going on 28 policies that are recognised worldwide as actions needed to address obesity. New South Wales scored low or very low for 12 of those areas. And, according to the experts, banning unhealthy food and drink marketing should be one of the priorities for the NSW government.
Less than 6% of the NSW community eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day. Around a third of our energy from the food we eat comes from foods that don’t provide the nourishment our body needs such as cakes, muffins, confectionery and bars, pastries, biscuits, and sugary drinks. It’s hard to eat well when these are the foods promoted, even on NSW government controlled buses, trains, and train stations.
The NSW government can act
“We commend the NSW government on the policies in schools and hospitals to improve the food available”, said Clare Hughes, Manager Nutrition Unit at Cancer Council NSW, “At the moment unhealthy food ads are everywhere and that sends the wrong messages to children about healthy eating. Removing unhealthy food advertising from government-controlled property would complement the work that has been started by the government.”
“Cancer Council NSW has identified removing unhealthy food marketing from state-controlled property as an election priority for the 2023 election. This scorecard supports that call to the NSW government”, Ms Hughes said.
Sacks G, Mann D. Policies for tackling obesity and creating healthier food environments: scorecard and priority recommendations for the New South Wales Government, November 2022. Melbourne: Deakin University, 2022