We want our kids to have the best start they can in life, but evidence shows that the junk food advertising we see every day makes it difficult to establish healthy eating habits in children.
Cancer Council SA’s new research project aims to understand how much junk food advertising South Aussie kids are seeing so we can call for stronger regulations on junk food advertising near schools.
What’s the link between junk food and cancer?
Evidence shows that regularly eating junk food is associated with long-term weight gain. Being overweight or obese can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, bowel, kidney and stomach.
How does junk food advertising influence eating habits in children and teenagers?
In South Australia, Government owned assets such as bus stops and buses have no restrictions on the types of food and drink advertising that can be shown on them.
Cancer Council SA Prevention and Advocacy Manager Christine Morris said that evidence shows that junk food ads make it difficult to build healthy eating habits in children, which can impact health later in life.
“We really empathise with parents and know that when kids are bombarded with junk food ads, it’s really hard for parents to make healthy choices,” Christine says.
“International studies have shown that banning junk food advertising can help to reduce junk food consumption amongst young people.”
“There is a groundswell around the world with New York being the latest major city to introduce restrictions on advertising of unhealthy food and drinks in public spaces, joining the UK, Brazil and Amsterdam.
“Locally, we have also seen restrictions announced in Queensland, WA and the ACT, where junk food and alcohol ads have been restricted on buses since 2015.”
“We want our kids to have the best start they can in life, and through restricting junk food advertising, we can help support parents and children to make healthy lifestyle choices.”
What is Cancer Council SA doing to help?
Cancer Council SA has launched a new research project that will provide a comprehensive look at food and drink advertising on government owned assets near schools.
Through the research project, Cancer Council SA will be collecting data on the types of advertising in bus shelters and on buses near Adelaide schools to help identify the types of food and drink ads South Australian children and teenagers are exposed to daily.
“Our aim is to understand how much junk food advertising South Aussie kids are exposed to, so we can have informed conversations with the State Government and work with them to implement policies to help support parents and children to make healthy lifestyle choices,” Christine says.
For more information on diet and cancer, visit the Cancer Council SA website here.