OPC encourages fast food chains to follow KFC's example

Thursday 25 August, 2011

New research reveals 85% of Australian grocery buyers want regulation of the use of toys to market junk food to children

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.

Previously unreleased research by Cancer Council Victoria, a member of the OPC, shows that five in six Australian grocery buyers (85%) want greater regulation of the use of toys and giveaways to market junk food to children.

Today’s announcement from KFC is a big win for parents who are fed up of having efforts to get children to eat healthily undermined by the relentless marketing of junk food to children,” said Jane Martin, Senior Policy Advisor for the Obesity Policy Coalition.

Our research found one third of grocery buyers said toys and giveaways had a negative impact on their children’s food purchase requests, and an overwhelming five in six want the government to regulate this type of marketing.

Ms Martin said the announcement today was an admission from one of the major players in the fast food industry that including toys in kids meals was used to influence children’s food choices.

It’s great to see a major chain come clean about the pester power these giveaways create. If KFC has the foresight to recognise the impact of this type of marketing on children’s food preferences and the pester power that goes with it, we hope it will not be long before other fast food chains like McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks catch up with the times.

About the Obesity Policy Coalition:

The Obesity Policy Coalition is a group of leading public health agencies who are concerned about the escalating levels of overweight and obesity, particularly in children. The Obesity Policy Coalition partners include Diabetes Australia Victoria, The Cancer Council Victoria, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University.