Junk Food Marketing Code Hailed A Success

The Australian Food and Grocery Council says an initiative to reduce the amount of junk food advertised on TV aimed at children has been a success.

The council set up the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative a year ago.

Under the voluntary code, leading food manufacturing companies agreed to stop advertising high-energy, high-fat and high-salt foods during peak children’s television viewing hours.

Council chief executive Dr Geoffrey Annison says initial reports show advertising of these products has virtually stopped since the program began at the start of 2009.

“After the first 12 months we told companies that we would be collecting information from them to confirm that they’ve met their commitments,” Dr Annison said.

“The interim report is now out which demonstrates that compliance has been very high and the program has been a great success in that respect.”

Dr Annison says it has also encouraged companies to improve their products.

“The other good thing about the program is that it’s caused the composition of some foods to change,” he said.

“Some of the companies have been reducing salt and reducing fat and energy in their products, so they’re a better choice for children.

“And these ones can also be marketed of course.”