The Healthy Auckland Together coalition of health agencies, university, iwi and local government is calling for greater protection for children from junk food marketing.

The coalition is promoting a comic by illustrator Toby Morris which asks why we allow advertisers to target children so they’ll buy, or pester their parents to buy, fizzy drinks or food high in sugar, salt or fat.

HAT has also released a snapshot of evidence with Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa (ANA), outlining the impact on children of unhealthy food advertising.

Parents and others are being asked to look out for ads for occasional food or drink that appeal to children and either complain to the industry’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), or alert Healthy Auckland Together to the ad on social media (#dumpthejunknz), so the coalition can complain.

Healthy Auckland Together spokesperson Dr Michael Hale says one way to reduce egregious marketing is to test the ASA’s Code of Advertising to Children and Young People.

“The ASA’s Code was reviewed as part of the Childhood Obesity Plan. The expectation was that the new code would reduce children’s exposure to ads for food and drink that contribute to obesity.

“We don’t think that has happened. Children see on average 27 junk food ads a day so the industry’s self-regulation through the ASA isn’t working,” said Dr Hale.

For more information, visit HAT.

Comic - Junk messages

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