Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ministers push for junk food ad ban

From this article in today's Melbourne Age....

Health ministers meeting in Brisbane today are expected to ask Prime Minister John Howard for a partial ban on junk food television advertising to try to curb growing rates of obesity.

Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson said health ministers had already unsuccessfully raised the matter with his federal counterpart Tony Abbott, because Mr Abbott believes it would lead to a "nanny state".

Is this what a catholic education gives us as a Health minister? Nothing short of a total ban on junk food advertising in primetime is only the first step in curbing childhood obesity!

Mr Robertson said the next step was to take the matter to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) when it next meets in Canberra.

But the Queensland proposal would stop short of the New South Wales plan for a total ban on junk food ads until after 8.30pm.

This is an excellent start. For N.S.W. kids of course. It seems the Quensland Health minister, Stephen Robertson, hasn't quite got the spine to demand/request a total ban. Pity.

"We want to restrict advertising of so-called junk food to about 20 per cent of the overall advertising content," Mr Robertson told ABC Radio today.

"This is now the fourth time health ministers, I think, around Australia have debated this issue and on each occasion, Tony Abbott has been the stumbling block.

"I would like to see it elevated onto the COAG agenda, the national agenda.

"I think we will get a better hearing out of the Prime Minister than we will out of Tony Abbott."

A large proportion of Australian children were now overweight and obese and this set them up for health problems in later life, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

Mr Robertson said he and Mr Abbott had just returned from a visit to the Torres Strait where 30 per cent of the population suffered from diabetes.

What do you think our chances are of getting even a slight ban on junk food advertising? Personally, I think none, nada, zip. It's a real shame because we're killing our kids (and ourselves) slowly with this highly processed crap.


Update: I just noticed a link on Tony Abbott's webpage that links to th department of health and ageing. Their recommended diet for a male aged 31 to 50 is as follows:

Healthy Eating Guidelines for Men aged 31-50 years
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends the following servings per day:
  • 6 - 12 servings from the bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles group.

  • An example of one serve is 2 slices of bread; 1 medium bread roll; 1 cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles; or 1 1/3 cup of breakfast cereal flakes.

  • There is an allowance of about 30g a day for poly or monounsaturated fats and oils that can be used to spread on breads or rolls or used elsewhere in the diet.

  • 5 servings from the vegetables, legumes group.

  • An example of one serve is 75 grams or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables; 1/2 cup cooked dried beans, peas, lentils or canned beans; 1 cup of salad vegetables; or 1 small potato.

  • 2 servings of fruit.

  • An example of one serve is 1 medium apple; 2 small pieces (150g) of fruit (apricots, kiwi fruit, plums); 1 cup of diced fruit pieces or canned fruit; 1/2 cup of fruit juice; or 1 1/2 tablespoons of sultanas.

  • 2 servings from the milk, yoghurt, cheese group.

  • An example of one serve is 250 ml of milk; 250ml of soy beverage; 40 grams (2 slices) of cheese; or 200g (1 small carton of yoghurt).

  • 1 serving from the lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes group.

  • An example of one serve is 65-100 grams cooked meat or chicken; 2 small chops; 2 slices of roast meat; 1/2 cup of cooked (dried beans); 80-120 grams of fish fillet; 1/2 cup of peanuts (almonds); or 2 small eggs.

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