Study: Strong community support for government action on food marketing
Government action on policies to deal with food marketing is more likely if the community is also behind it. Cancer Council has been asking the NSW community about their support for certain government actions every three years since 2013.
Our 2022 survey found that 70% of the community want children protected from unhealthy food advertising, an increase from 65% in 2019. In 2022, we also found community support for restrictions on unhealthy food marketing on government owned property increased from 56% to 60%.
Eighty percent of the community is concerned about unhealthy food ads on TV, giveaways or celebrities or cartoon characters associated with unhealthy food, and unhealthy food companies sponsoring both children’s sports. The proportion of those concerned about all types of food marketing has increased in the last three years. The percentage of those concerned about advertising on the internet and social media is now 75% compared to 65% in 2019, and those concerned about outdoor advertising has increased from 64% to 71% in 2022.
The actions needed
One in five children in NSW carry excess weight. Regulation to protect children from food marketing should be part of broad actions to deal with that. The UK is planning to limit unhealthy food marketing on television and online. Transport for London no longer allows unhealthy food ads on their property. Australia is lagging.
This study shows the NSW community supports similar actions to what is happening in the UK. It is time for action by governments in NSW and Australia.