Findings from the ACT Government’s community consultation on food and drink marketing, part of the ACT Government’s Healthy Weight Initiative, were released today by the Assistant Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris.
The ACT Government undertook the consultation towards the end of 2015 to engage with the community on ways to increase the availability and promotion of healthy food and drinks, and address issues with the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks, particularly when aimed at young children.
“There was a strong response to the consultation with more than 500 submissions received from the community, businesses, sporting clubs and event organisers,” Minister Fitzharris said.
“This is an issue that resonates with the Canberra community. Unhealthy food and drink choices are a major contributor to our rates of overweight and obesity, and this has a major impact on our health system, as well as our everyday lives.”
The consultation revealed a range of ideas and initiatives to encourage and support consumers towards healthier food and drink choices and reduce the impact of ‘junk food’ marketing.
There were a range of suggestions that came out of the consultation, including promoting healthy options through store catalogues and weekly specials, encouraging more healthy options through sporting clubs and not displaying unhealthy food and drinks at children’s eye level.
“Overall, the consultation told us that Canberrans want choice. While a trip to the cinema or a sports ground to cheer our favourite team might include some treat foods, many of us also want healthier options. These options need to be appealing and competitively priced.
“There were also some concerns raised about the potential financial impact on business and sporting clubs if there are restrictions on unhealthy food and drink marketing. Any measures we look at implementing will take such concerns into account.
“I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the consultation, and took the time to tell us how these issues impact on them,” said Minister Fitzharris.
The ACT Government will now consider the findings and develop a range of options to ensure the Healthy Weight Initiative addresses some of the issues raised by the community.
The Government will continue to consult with stakeholders to ensure we keep making progress towards our goal of zero growth in obesity and to make sure Canberrans lead healthy lives.
The findings are also attached.
All non-confidential submissions to the consultation will be made publicly available. The ACT Government is considering its response and thanks all respondents who took the time to share their views.
- Statement ends -
Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases
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