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Cancer Council SA is launching a new research project that will provide a comprehensive look at food and drink advertising on government owned assets near schools.

Evidence shows that regular consumption of 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.

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 lead to health impacts 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,” she said.

“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.”

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 junk food and drink ads South Australian children are exposed to daily.

“If we can understand how and when children and teenagers are exposed to junk food advertising, we can then work with the State Government, Transport SA and SA Health to help implement policies that will restrict kids access to them.”

“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.”

For more information on diet and cancer, visit the Cancer Council SA website here.