DOUBTS CAST OVER VOL­UN­TARY CODES

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a strat­egy to tackle diabetes, in­clud­ing a plan to re­duce junk food mar­ket­ing to chil­dren. The re­stric­tions will be vol­un­tary but the Heart Foun­da­tion - through its life­style pro­gram LiveLighter - wants the rules to be much tougher. While it was pleased to see a com­mit­ment to re­duce chil­dren’s ex­po­sure to the mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the junk food and drink in­dus­try, there was con­cern that vol­un­tary mea­sures pro­posed will be in­ef­fec­tive, the Foun­da­tion said. There was lit­tle if any ev­i­dence from here or else­where that vol­un­tary codes were ef­fec­tive. Codes were rarely en­forced and fre­quently cir­cum­vented by ad­ver­tis­ers who con­tin­u­ally move the goal posts, it added. The Gov­ern­ment should add strong en­force­ment codes to the Chil­dren’s Tele­vi­sion Stan­dards. About two thirds of Aus­tralian adults and 25 per cent of 12 to 17- year-olds are over­weight or obese.

Rick Lee - re­gional ed­i­tor

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