The government of South Australia is planning to ban junk food advertising in children's viewing times. The province's Health Minister John Hill says the government will implement a voluntary ban first, but if that does not curb the number of advertisements, then it will legislate.
Hill says banning advertising of soft drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt during peak children's viewing times, is part of the government's battle against obesity. "We are doing a whole range of things, including making sure that school canteens provide healthy food. But a barrage of television advertising means that we do these with one arm tied behind our backs."
Australian Association of National Advertisers' executive director Colin Segalov says the bans will be ineffective. "We are sympathetic to the concerns expressed by the minister, but ad bans haven't worked anywhere," he said. But the move has the support of experts such as Rita Alvaro, Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital's senior nutritionist. "Many studies have shown that tv advertising can influence children's food choices," she said.