Ad industry dismisses childhood obesity link as myth
Not sure who did the stats on this one, but the advertising industry has denied there is any link between food advertising and childhood obesity.
The news.com report says that at a federal parliamentary inquiry into obesity in Australia, held in Brisbane, MPs were also told that advertising standards prohibited food being advertised as healthy in Australia.
Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) executive director Collin Segelov claims yet to be released CSIRO research will show no significant increase in childhood obesity since the last study in 1995.
“This makes the notion of an obesity epidemic, as continually put forward by academic activists and others – quite irresponsibly in my opinion – quite misleading, if not an utter nonsense,” says Segelov.
“I’m not only arguing that advertising is not the cause of a childhood obesity epidemic, but that there is no epidemic.”
Mr Segelov said food advertisers remained committed to a broader, more holistic approach to obesity.
Foundation for Advertising Research founder Professor Glen Wiggs says an Australian food standard specifically forbade the use of the word ‘healthy’ in food product advertising.
Advertising is an easy and cheap research target for authorities, but very little research was undertaken into how the home affected food choices. Prof Wiggs believes that “children tend to imitate their parents”.
Let’s see if there is a sudden surge in sugary breakfast cereal and McDonald’s TVCs following the release of the CSIRO report.