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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.
Coca-Cola Amatil's fierce opposition to a health levy to increase the price of sugary drinks is not surprising; it's our largest manufacturer of the product. Australians should not be taken in by the arguments of Coca-Cola Amatil's group managing director, Alison Watkins. Coca-Cola is not in the business of health. It is in the business of selling drinks, and its job is to return a profit to shareholders by selling a lot of these — mostly sugary — drinks.
Amid all the good will of the World Cup, there's one particular aspect of high-profile events like the World Cup that has the potential to harm kids: pervasive junk food advertising. Like other major sporting events, the World Cup has sponsorship deals with food companies McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
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.
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.
Despite Australian children's high rates of overweight and obesity, there are few controls on advertising practices targeting advertisements for unhealthy foods and beverages to children in Australia and much is left up to self-regulation by the food and beverage industry.