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Food advertising legislation blueprint [ 100% ]

The Obesity Policy Coalition has launched a new blueprint for regulating junk food advertising to children. The blueprint sets out a plan for federal and state and territory governments to enact legislation to restrict all forms of advertising and promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children. It specifies how legislation should operate, the types of advertising and promotion that should be restricted, and proposes definitions for key terms and phrases such as ‘unhealthy food’ and ‘directed to children’. 

The blueprint has been backed by all leading Australian public health agencies, including the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, the Australian Medical Association, and the Coalition on Food Advertising to Children.

See a summary of the proposal here

Comprehensive Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy [ 100% ]

14 May 2010

The Comprehensive Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (2011) was undertaken at the request of the Australian Ministerial Council, with the agreement of the Council of Australian Governments.

The OPC's first submission was in response to the Food Regulation Standing Committee's (FRSC) Consultation Paper for a Front of Pack Labelling Policy Guideline. The OPC recommended that the policy guideline should support the introduction of a uniform, mandatory and easy to use front of pack labelling system, preferably a traffic light labelling system.

The OPC's second submission was in response to the review panel's issues consultation paper. It outlined a number of key recommendations for changes to food labelling law and policy to encourage healthier patterns of eating in the Australian population, including:

  • Mandatory traffic light labelling on the front of food packages, in fast food outlets and in food retail outlets in public institutions (e.g. hospitals and schools)
  • Restrictions on use of nutrition claims (e.g. high fibre) in food advertising and on packaging to foods that meet general nutrition profile criteria (to ensure claims can only be made about foods that are healthy overall)
  • Requirements for disclosure of nutrition information in food advertisements
  • Establishment of a national food labelling enforcement authority
  • Development of overarching food labelling principles, and detailed food labelling interpretation guidelines

The Review Panel adopted a number of the OPC's recommendations for food labelling reforms (see Labelling Logic - Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy Report). In particular, the Review Panel recommended the introduction of a traffic light labelling system on the front of food packs and fast food menus (recommendations 50 - 54), the introduction of mandatory energy labelling on fast food menus and vending machines (recommendation 18),  requirement that all foods that make nutrition claims must meet general nutrition profile criteria (recommendation 20b) and establishment of a food labelling bureau (recommendation 57- 61).

The OPC's third submission was to inform the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments' response to the Labelling Logic report. It encouraged Australian governments to support the adoption of the recommendations in the report, particularly recommendations 50 - 54, 18, 20b and 57-61. It also made some additional suggestions to strengthen the effectiveness of, and compliance with, any traffic light labelling scheme.

Policy brief: Food advertising regulation in Australia [ 93% ]

Food advertising in Australia is regulated under a complex mix of statutory regulations and co- and self- regulatory codes. These regulations and codes are inadequate to protect children from unhealthy food advertising; they do not restrict the volume of unhealthy food advertising that children are exposed to, nor do they adequately restrict the marketing techniques most commonly used to target children. There are also significant deficiencies in the administration and enforcement of the self-regulatory codes. Comprehensive legislation restricting unhealthy food advertising to children is urgently required. 

Policy brief: Fast food and vending machine nutrition information [ 93% ]

Fast food outlets are major contributors to unhealthy eating in Australia, but are exempt from national food labelling requirements. There is a need for consistent national requirements for fast food outlets and vending machines to display nutrition information. This should consist of multiple traffic light signposts to indicate levels of key nutrients in products, or at a minimum, kilojoule content information (with a statement about recommended kilojoule intake). Fast food outlets should be required to display nutrition information about each product on menus, menu boards and drive-through boards at the point of sale, and on tags next to self-service cabinets and food displays.  Vending machine operators should also be required to display nutrition information about products on the outside of vending machines.

Policy brief: Evidence of food advertising effects on children [ 92% ]

Several comprehensive literature reviews have concluded that food advertising influences children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption, and is likely to contribute to poor health outcomes, including overweight and obesity. Public health experts agree that the evidence justifies government intervention, and that urgent action is required to comprehensively restrict unhealthy food advertising to children.

This document summarises the findings of the major reviews of the evidence, and experts' recommendations for intervention to restrict food advertising to children.

Junk food advertising to kids is rife [ 91% ]

19 January 2011

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.

Policy brief: International laws restricting food advertising [ 90% ]

Food advertising to children is subject to legislative restrictions in a number of countries. While some countries (Sweden and Norway) prohibit all advertising directed to children, others (United Kingdom and South Korea) aim to reduce the exposure of children to unhealthy food advertising and the marketing techniques most commonly used to target children. In France, health messages must be included in unhealthy food advertisements. International health agencies have released recommendations to encourage countries to develop stronger restrictions on unhealthy food advertising to children.

Junk food advertising rules are a pantomime [ 89% ]

10 May 2011

Self-regulation has failed to reduce children's exposure to unhealthy food advertising, and comprehensive legislation to restrict the range of marketing techniques used by companies to target children is needed.

Opinion piece in Croakey - How long can the Australian Food and Grocery Council peddle junk claims? [ 87% ]

29 June 2011

Croakey opinion piece - AFGC claims about junk food advertising and self-regulation

Walt Disney's junk food ad ban exposes TV's influence on kids [ 83% ]

7 June 2012

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

Total 166 articles in this section.
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