Following the release of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing’s report, ‘Weighing it Up – Obesity in Australia’, more than a dozen organisations representing the advertising, marketing and media industry in Australia and New Zealand have voiced their support.

The informal network of industry organisations, whose members annually contribute over $30 billion to the local economy, includes heavyweights such as the Australian Association of National Advertisers, Advertising Federation of Australia and Australian Food and Grocery Council.

The coalition has expressed its willingness to work with the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, over ways the industry can ‘contribute to a healthier community’ through its practices.

One suggestion that’s been made involves social marketing and education campaigns about healthy lifestyles being developed, an area where the informal network maintains it has demonstrated its commitment having mounted a $10 million campaign, ‘Jo Lively’, to encourage healthy eating habits and exercise for children.

The industry organisations welcomed the report’s findings regarding the role of industry self-regulation, a key recommendation in the Senate’s findings, acknowledging ‘the need to continually maintain and update codes and responsible marketing initiatives’.

It also welcomed the call for more research into the effect of food advertising as a means of better understanding the relationship between advertising and food consumption.