Food Influence On Junk Food

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Australians spend about a third of their weekly household food budget on food prepared outside the home. These meals tend to be fast food and take-away, which are often high in saturated fats, salt and sugar. In Australia, a quarter of the population is now obese, with a majority of that percentage being children, junk food marketing that targets children increases the amount of junk food that they ingest and purchase, because of this, obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia (smoking, 2010 &, 2014). Marketing towards children puts their long-term health at risk by enticing them to eat foods that are low in nutrition, fast food restaurants invest about 10 billion dollars…show more content…
Failure to act now will lead to damaging public health consequences, as well as significant economic costs for individuals, families, the community and Australian governments (, 2014). Australian children are exposed to immense amounts of promotion and advertising of unhealthy food and beverages options through the use of the television, and through other medias and forms of promotion, as mentioned earlier (Appendix 2). There is sufficient evidence that concludes that the media influences children’s food choices and contributes to weight gain and obesity. It also raises serious ethical issues, as many children cannot properly understand or interpret advertising messages, or recognise that their intent is to persuade rather than entertain or inform (, 2014). While there are some limited restrictions on food advertising to children in Australia (mostly in self-regulatory codes), these restrictions provide little protection to children, as they do not adequately restrict the volume of unhealthy food advertising reaching children or effectively address marketing techniques used by food companies to target children, such as free toy offers, competitions, internet games and activities, and endorsements by popular characters and celebrities. The food industry has already been given sufficient…show more content…
Unfortunately fruit, vegetables and dairy foods are being replaced by foods high in kilojoules, salt and saturated fat – the very dietary patterns linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in adults." (, 2008) There is an extensive amount of local and international evidence that supports the idea that unhealthy food advertising contributes to childhood overweight and obesity, as this has an influence on a child’s food preferences, purchases, requests and what they consume (, 2014). Accordingly, unhealthy food advertising has been identified in research authorized by the World Health Organization as a feasible cause of weight gain and childhood obesity. While no one would suggest that unhealthy food advertising is the only perpetrator toward overweight and obesity in children, addressing this element is recognised to be a critical part of any comprehensive strategy to address the problem; unhealthy food advertising is a contributor to childhood overweight and obesity is also a matter of common sense. Food manufacturers spend millions of dollars year advertising to children and adolescents. Clearly they would not make this investment in advertising if it did not have a significant effect on children’s

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