DOUBTS CAST OVER VOLUNTARY CODES
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