An initiative to reduce the amount of junk food advertising on television has been successful, says the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Set up in 2009, the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative is a voluntary code under which leading food manufacturing companies agreed to stop advertising high-energy, high-fat and high-salt foods during children’s television viewing hours.

Some companies have adopted the initiative, with Nestle announcing that it would reduce the amount of sugar in its products in an effort to help fight childhood obesity.

However, there have been breaches of the code – hamburger chain Hungry Jacks came under fire for admitting that it screened ads showing high-fat food for children when it had agreed to adhere to the code.

“After the first 12 months we told companies that we would be collecting information from them to confirm that they’ve met their commitments. The interim report is now out and demonstrates that compliance has been very high and the program has been a great success,” explained council chief executive Dr Geoffrey Annison.

“Some of the companies have been reducing salt and reducing fat and energy in their products, so theyre a better choice for children. And these ones can also be marketed of course.”