Media releases

Media enquiries: Shannon Crane 03 9514 6406 or 0432 157 270

27 November, 2017 : ‘Added sugar’ labelling delay symptom of broader lack of obesity policy

Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, Jane Martin, responds to the communique released by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation yesterday.

21 November, 2017 : Sugar, Sugar or Honey, Honey? Health Agencies Call for Clearer Labelling of ‘Added Sugar'

A coalition of leading health agencies, the Obesity Policy Coalition, has written to the state and territory health ministers who make up the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation calling on them to urgently adopt a recommendation to identify ‘added sugars' on food labels when they meet later this month.

19 September, 2017 : Tipping the Scales: We must halt obesity to save Australian lives

Thirty-four leading community, public health, medical and academic groups have today united for the first time to call for urgent Federal Government action to address Australia’s serious obesity problem.

27 June, 2017 : Free toys have powerful influence on what kids want to eat: study

New research from Cancer Council Victoria has revealed what food companies have known for decades – that supplying movie character toys with fast food has an enormous impact on what Aussie kids want to eat.

27 June, 2017 : More than half of foods aimed at kids are unhealthy: research

More than half of supermarket products marketed at kids are unhealthy, new research from the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has revealed.

8 June, 2017 : Removing sugary drinks from hospitals, health services a positive step

The Obesity Policy Coalition has applauded the NSW Government for committing to remove all sugary drinks and boost healthy food choices in its hospitals and health services, in a change to take effect from December.

11 May, 2017 : OPC welcomes funding boost for chronic disease and obesity prevention initiatives and research

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement of $10m for research into chronic disease prevention, $10m for walking interventions and $5 million to enable better GP interventions for patients with obesity, but obesity prevention is still incredibly underfunded.

20 February, 2017 : Landmark report sets out ambitious roadmap to tackle obesity and unhealthy diets

A landmark study involving more than 100 nutrition and policy experts from 53 organisations across the country has identified critical action areas for Australian governments to tackle the rise of obesity through unhealthy diets - now one of the leading causes of preventable death and disability in Australia.

10 February, 2017 : 4 in 5 Victorians support kilojoules on the menu: survey shows

Leading health organisations have today congratulated the Victorian Government for passing legislation to make kilojoule labelling on menus mandatory, as new data shows the majority of Victorians support the move, along with an education campaign.

8 December, 2016 : New report highlights urgent need for national obesity strategy

As new figures reveal high rates of overweight and obesity right across the country, the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is calling for a national obesity strategy to address a serious and widespread weight problem.

7 December, 2016 : Unilever Paddle Pop ad found in breach of responsible marketing to kids code

Australia’s independent advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has found Unilever in breach of the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI) after a complaint by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) was upheld.

23 November, 2016 : Grattan report shows the time is right for a sugary drinks tax in Australia

The Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed a major Grattan Institute report recommending the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks in Australia, which is urgently needed to help curb increasing rates of obesity and chronic disease.

22 June, 2016 : OPC applauds Greens for committing to sugary drinks tax

The Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed The Greens' pledge to introduce a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks as part of its broader plan to combat Australia's worsening obesity problem.

21 June, 2016 : Heinz under spotlight over ‘healthy' high-sugar toddler snacks

Food companies who make misleading health claims on children's products have been put on notice today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

20 June, 2016 : OPC welcomes Labor's plan to tackle obesity, chronic disease

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed Labor's plan to prevent chronic disease but warns more needs to be done to reduce the impact of obesity.

16 May, 2016 : Unhealthy snack bars don’t reveal health rating: survey

More than 63 per cent of snack bars on major supermarket shelves do not display the Government-led Health Star Rating System and some manufacturers only use the stars on high-rating products, a new survey from the Obesity Policy Coalition has revealed.

14 April, 2016 : Sugary drinks tax could save 1,600+ lives: study

A 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks in Australia could save more than 1,600 lives and raise $400 million per year for much-needed obesity prevention initiatives, new research co-authored by the Obesity Policy Coalition has revealed.

7 April, 2016 : KJs on the menu: a healthy step for Victorians

The Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed the Victorian Government's announcement this morning that it will implement mandatory kilojoule labelling in chain fast food outlets and supermarkets across the state.

4 April, 2016 : Australia making no progress to prevent obesity, alcohol harm: MJA report

Australia's investment in life-saving health promotion programs now lags well behind many other comparable Western countries, public health experts say.

17 March, 2016 : Australia should follow UK with 20% sugary drinks tax

The Federal Government should implement a 20% tax on sugary drinks to improve the health of Australians and reduce the burden of chronic disease, according to Jane Martin, Executive Manager, Obesity Policy Coalition.

1 December, 2015 : Charade of ‘responsible’ junk food ads worsening

A new Obesity Policy Coalition report calls for action to protect children from junk food marketing, as profit-hungry food advertisers exploit loopholes in self-regulatory codes. The report, End the Charade, highlights the failures of self-regulation by the food and advertising industries, exposing sneaky tactics that are resulting in children being bombarded with junk food advertising.

15 July, 2015 : Fanta loses fizz: Ad and app pulled for directly marketing to kids

A Fanta television advertisement and mobile phone app have been pulled after the Advertising Standards Board found they broke the rules by directly marketing an unhealthy drink to children.

20 April, 2015 : OPC congratulates Kellogg’s for adding Health Star Ratings to cereal products

The Obesity Policy Coalition is today congratulating Kellogg’s on its decision to add Health Star Ratings to its breakfast cereal products.

13 April, 2015 : Back to school warning: ‘healthy’ kids’ fruit drinks contain more sugar than soft drinks

Many popular children’s fruit drinks which promote themselves as healthy options have been found to contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar - even more sugar than for the same amount of Coke.

17 March, 2015 : Breakfast cereals up to one third sugar: new analysis shows. Health groups call for clear labelling

Australian cereal manufacturers are potentially misleading consumers by promoting healthy sounding statements on their packaging despite sugar making up more than 35% of the ingredients of some popular brands, a recent survey has revealed.

6 March, 2015 : WHO new sugar guidelines – 6 teaspoons a day is the limit for better health

The release yesterday of the World Health Organization's guidelines around sugar has prompted a coalition of leading health organisations to call for a national strategy around obesity that includes policies to directly impact the amount of added sugars in Australians' diets.

17 February, 2015 : McDonald's slammed for offering cash rebates to schools when students buy fast food

Health groups have today condemned McDonald's for seeking to promote its unhealthy products to children in schools, kindergartens and early childhood centres.

28 January, 2015 : That's not cricket: Junk food sponsors mentioned more than 1,000 times per match, report shows

A new report from the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has revealed the incredibly large volume of junk food marketing in cricket broadcasts.

20 January, 2015 : Tackling obesity: Aussies want change

New research has revealed that 79% of Australians polled believe if we don’t do more to lower the intake of fatty sugary and salty foods/drinks, our children will live shorter lives than their parents.

6 December, 2014 : OPC welcomes relaunch of Health Star Rating website

The Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed the Federal Government's move to re-launch the website that facilitates the Health Star Rating label system on packaged foods.

18 November, 2014 : OPC welcomes Coalition Government’s pledge to invest in obesity prevention programs

The Obesity Policy Coalition has congratulated the Coalition Government for its pre-election commitment to tackle rising rates of obesity and associated health conditions in Victoria.

13 November, 2014 : OPC applauds Greens for pledge to implement policies to help tackle obesity in Victoria

The Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed The Greens' pledge to put prevention at the forefront of its health platform ahead of the Victorian election.

11 November, 2014 : No team spirit: McDonald's breaks promise again by giving fast food vouchers to children

For the second time in just a few months McDonald's has been found to be in breach of its commitment to refrain from marketing products to children that are not healthy choices after another complaint was upheld by the Advertising Standards Board.

23 September, 2014 : Fat chance of a fair game: new sports drinks proposal will mislead consumers on nutritional information, experts warn

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is warning that proposed changes to food regulations could allow popular sports drinks with nearly as much sugar as soft drink to carry health claims, which could mislead the public into thinking they were healthier choices than water.

5 September, 2014 : OPC applauds Greens' policy to phase out junk food advertising from junior sport and outdoor areas

The Obesity Policy Coalition applauds The Greens on the launch of its new plan to combat harmful advertising to children and urges other political parties to follow suit.

18 July, 2014 : On the menu for next Vic Govt: Better fast food labelling, less junk in kids’ sport & beefed up planning laws

The Obesity Policy Coalition today called on all Victorian political parties to commit to taking action towards stemming the burden of lifestyle-related chronic disease in Victorian communities with the launch of its 2014 state election policy platform Next Steps: building on the prevention system to address overweight and obesity in Victoria.

8 July, 2014 : Australians 180,000 tonnes overweight & gaining 5,000 tonnes per year

The Obesity Policy Coalition called for a national coordinated action plan to address the obesity issue, following the release of a new "state of the nation" report by Roy Morgan Research this morning.

27 June, 2014 : OPC Congratulates Food Ministers for supporting Healthy Star Rating Scheme

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) have congratulated the Ministers at the Food Ministers’ Forum[1] meeting today in Sydney for their support of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system and agreeing to re-establish the website that facilitates the HSR on packaged food.

26 June, 2014 : Health Star Rating Call on Food Ministers

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and the Obesity Policy Coalition have called on Ministers at the Food Ministers’ Forum[1] tomorrow to support the Health Star Rating system and to re-establish the website that facilitates the new Health Star Rating on packaged food.

12 June, 2014 : New COAG Report: Obesity tops the list of areas of concern for Australia's future health

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is calling for government action to stem the obesity epidemic following the release of the COAG Reform Council's final report on healthcare reform.

6 March, 2014 : New WHO guidelines should be a call to industry to stop sugarcoating kids’ foods

Australia needs to take action in response to new World Health Organization guidelines around sugar consumption, according to a coalition of leading health organisations, the Obesity Policy Coalition.

21 February, 2014 : ACT Govt gets Gold Star for Action on Sugary Drinks in Schools

The Obesity Policy Coalition has applauded the ACT Government for moving to phase out sugary drinks from government schools therefore removing one of the biggest contributors to extra sugar in children's diets.

13 December, 2013 : Latest opinion poll shows thumbs down for junk food sponsorship of kids sport

Almost seven out of 10 Australian adults believe the sponsorship of children's sporting activities by fast food chains such as McDonald's and KFC should be restricted, if not stopped entirely.

6 November, 2013 : Australia should follow Mexico's lead and investigate tax on soft drinks and junk food

As Mexico enters the final stages to introduce a tax on sugary soft drink and junk food, new public opinion data reveals Australians are also in favour of pricing interventions to improve health, with more than two thirds (68%) in support of increasing the price of unhealthy foods and using the money to reduce the cost of healthy foods.

24 October, 2013 : Federal Government must commit to action plan on obesity prevention

The Obesity Policy Coalition is calling on the Federal Government to commit to a national action plan to prevent obesity following today's release of figures by the National Health Performance Authority.

11 September, 2013 : Health groups throw down the challenge to Coca Cola

Peak health and community organisations have written to senior leaders in Coca-Cola's Australian and New Zealand operations calling for the company to stop weight-washing the issue of obesity with expensive advertising, and instead take practical steps to address the core drivers of weight gain.

9 August, 2013 : Greens Commit to Ban on Junk Food Advertising to Children

As part of a policy announcement, the Greens have confirmed they will target junk food advertisers as part of a preventative health plan to tackle childhood obesity.

15 July, 2013 : Planning Act Puts Victorians’ Health at Risk

Community protests in the Dandenong Ranges against the development of a 24-hour McDonald’s fast food outlet highlights the urgent need for potential health impacts to be considered in planning decisions, according to the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC).

4 July, 2013 : Second Kellogg's ad pulled in two weeks following OPC complaint

For the second time in two weeks Kellogg's has been forced to withdraw two TV advertisements after a complaint from the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) was upheld by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).

24 June, 2013 : Kellogg pulls Coco Pops ad after OPC complaint

A complaint made by the Obesity Policy Coalition about a Kellogg's TV commercial directed to children has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Board this week and the ad has been removed from viewing.

28 May, 2013 : Sports star endorsement works a treat on junk food packaging

Claims such as 'Good source of calcium and protein' and sports star endorsements on food packaging do influence children's choices.

10 April, 2013 : New research: Killer-joules and traffic lights on fast food menus make for healthier choices

A coalition of leading health agencies is calling on the Victorian Government to implement kilojoule and traffic light labelling on fast food menus in light of new research showing the combination of information can lead consumers to make healthier choices.

12 November, 2012 : Health groups release detailed investigation into failure of junk food marketing codes

Today, the Obesity Policy Coalition, a coalition of leading health bodies, has released one of the most comprehensive investigations into Australia’s self-regulatory system for food marketing ever undertaken.

10 October, 2012 : Salt, fat and energy reduction targets only valuable if monitored

The government and the Australian public should be wary of the Australian Food and Grocery Council's (AFGC) Healthier Australia Commitment, which was launched today, according to the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC).

27 September, 2012 : Vic report: Obesity crisis grossly understated

The Victorian Health Monitor has found that obesity prevalence in Victoria has been grossly underestimated. The report found that, when measured, almost 25 per cent of the Victorian population has a BMI in the obese category, which is much higher than the 17 per cent rate based on self-reporting.

12 September, 2012 : Health groups say parents & kids will benefit from ACT Greens' junk food ad commitment

The OPC has backed an election commitment announced today by the ACT Greens to restrict junk food advertising directed at children. The proposed plan would mean junk food advertising was no longer able to be shown on TV when large numbers of children are watching.

13 August, 2012 : Post-Olympics: Who really owns our children's sport?

Amid post-Olympics calls to review Australia's sporting performance, a coalition of health agencies has urged the government to restrict junk food companies from investing in junior sport and instead assist organisations to find more appropriate sponsors.

3 August, 2012 : Australians will support government initiatives to tackle obesity

There is strong public support for the introduction of policy initiatives to support healthy eating.

7 June, 2012 : Walt Disney's junk food ad ban exposes TV's influence on kids

Walt Disney has announced it will institute a junk food advertising ban on programs for children across its networks.

11 May, 2012 : Mac off - Get junk food out of junior sports

A coalition of leading health agencies, the Obesity Policy Coalition is calling on the Victorian Government to kick junk food brand promotion out of children's sports in light of the latest incursion by McDonald's into junior football yesterday - the Mac Pack.

6 March, 2012 : Vic Govt’s Healthy Eating Enterprise will help tackle obesity time bomb

The Obesity Policy Coalition has applauded the Victorian Government’s Healthy Eating Enterprise stating it is going to the heart of the issue and tackling some of the key drivers of obesity by integrating and embedding principles around healthy eating where people work, play and live.

9 December, 2011 : Labelling forum must put health on front of pack

The Food Regulation Forum must use the next six months to lead the development of an effective, easy to understand front-of-pack labelling system that puts the health of Australians above corporate profits, according to the Obesity Policy Coalition.

7 December, 2011 : It's a Knockout! ACMA report delivers blow to self-regulation

A report released today by the media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), further highlights the inadequacy of self-regulation of junk food advertising, according to Jane Martin, senior policy adviser for the Obesity Policy Coalition.

30 November, 2011 : Corporate wealth wins over consumer health: labelling review

The Federal Government has bowed to food industry pressure by rejecting traffic light labels in its response to the Labelling Logic review today, according to Jane Martin, senior policy adviser for the Obesity Policy Coalition.

21 November, 2011 : OPC urges Senate to support junk ad bill

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has urged all Federal MPs to support a Bill to be introduced into the Senate tomorrow to protect children from junk food advertising.

16 November, 2011 : Public supports tougher regulation of unhealthy food advertising

93% of South Australians agree the time has come to put a stop to unhealthy food producers from targeting kids through glitzy television ads and marketing ploys.

28 October, 2011 : United call for traffic lights defies industry objections

Australia’s leading public health, medical and consumer groups urge governments to put consumers first and green light traffic light labelling.

5 September, 2011 : Nine in ten consumers give traffic light labels green light

Research released today by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) reveals Australian grocery buyers are overwhelmingly (87%) in favour of clearer nutrition labels on packaged food in the form of traffic light ratings.

25 August, 2011 : OPC encourages fast food chains to follow KFC's example

Today’s announcement by KFC Australia that it will no longer provide toys with children’s meals has been welcomed by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC), who urged other fast food companies to follow suit.

27 May, 2011 : Overweight and obesity at tipping point

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that urgent government attention is required to tip the scales on Australia's rising obesity epidemic.

10 May, 2011 : Health coalition applauds Tasmania for taking the lead on junk food ads

The Obesity Policy Coalition has applauded Tasmanian Minister for Consumer Protection, Nick McKim, for taking the lead in protecting children from junk food advertising by calling for an investigation today.

9 May, 2011 : Health groups release landmark blueprint to tackle key driver of childhood obesity

The Obesity Policy Coalition has today released the first Australian plan for legislation that offers real protection for children from unhealthy food advertising – one of the key drivers of childhood obesity.

5 April, 2011 : Sanitarium proves industry can ‘green light’ traffic labels

A proposed front of pack traffic light labelling system launched by Sanitarium today is a big step forward in terms of helping consumers’ make informed decisions about the food they purchase, according to the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC).

15 February, 2011 : Parents duped by sports star endorsement of junk food

Endorsements by well-known sports personalities and selective nutrition claims on food packaging influence parents to buy unhealthy food for their children, according to Cancer Council Victoria’s new study.

28 January, 2011 : Traffic light labels a win for consumers' health

The Obesity Policy Coalition has applauded the food labelling review's recommendations for traffic light labelling on front of food packages and fast food menus as a victory for consumers and the health of Australians.

19 January, 2011 : Junk food advertising to kids is rife

A report released by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today highlights how ineffective self-regulation has been in decreasing children's exposure to junk food advertising.