Junk Food Ads Dominate In Television Food Advertising

A survey (pdf) by the Cancer Council of New South Wales has found that 81% of all food being advertised on television in Australia was for junk food. The study, which has been published in Health Promotion International journal, recorded 645 hours of television between 7am and 9pm on both weekdays and weekends in four different locations. It found that 31% of all ads were for food, with fast food and takeaway foods being the most common. Kathy Chapman, a researcher and nutritionist at the Cancer Council NSW, identified 194 breaches of the advertising industry's voluntary code of conduct. "Our study shows that current regulations don’t go far enough, and rules certainly need to be better enforced to protect our children,” she said. At a meeting of Australian government health ministers, the Minister for Health Tony Abbott ruled out any discussion of restrictions on food advertising in children's viewing hours and described the advertising industry's self regulatory code as "extensive and potentially prescriptive."