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Colour us Surprised: The Bill for Junk Food Ad Reform Actually Made it to Parliament – Here’s What That Means

Well, we’re ready to eat our words – the calls for junk food ad reform were proven to be more than just a pipe dream after they were officially presented to parliament this week. But we’ve still got a long way to go; after all, this is only a small step in the right direction. Of course, it does fly in the face of all we know about big sugar and its government lobbyists – here’s why we’re cautiously hopeful about this news, plus what all that legal jargon actually means. 

The proposed legislation, also known as the Healthy Kids Advertising Bill, would drastically reduce the reach of junk food ads – particularly to children, of whom research proves time and time again to be more vulnerable to this form of marketing. We’ve got around 25% of children aged 5-14 overweight or obese, and that number is only set to rise. Here’s what the legislation proposes:

  • Ads would be banned between 6am and 9.30pm.
  • Junk food marketing would be banned from social media.
  • Fines would be given to broadcasters, food companies and other service providers who breach these rules.

The head honcho of the bill and a major proponent for the movement against pervasive junk food advertisements, former GP and current MP Dr Sophie Scamps, says this legislation would be the first step in the fight against childhood obesity, revealing to parliament that kids are exposed to more than 15 junk food ads a day. Yikes. She went on to emphasise just how important it is we enforce adequate regulations instead of letting these ads run rampant across TV, social media and the internet. 

“With Australians being bombarded with unhealthy food ads all day, every day, is it any wonder we are facing an epidemic of obesity in this country?’ Sophie told the Australian parliament. “This Parliament needs to step up to support parents to help their children live healthy, productive lives.”

The former doctor is keen for Australia to join the other 40 countries, including South Korea, Denmark, the UK and Finland, with regulations for junk food advertising.

After all, our ultra-processed food habits are driving our obesity epidemic – and research shows that not only was obesity responsible for  16, 400 deaths in 2018, but it’s also a major cause of chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke. We also know that poor dietary habits can start early, with children’s brains – particularly the hippocampus – only partly developed, they have a harder time with impulse control. But that’s not to say the rest of us aren’t struggling too! After all, the added sugars in some of our most popular processed food brands triggers the release of “feel-good” hormone dopamine, leaving us craving more shortly after.
Now, while this reform is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t change the fact that many of us have a strong addiction to sugary foods. Sound familiar? Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining.

We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.

So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!

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