The Qld government has initiated steps to put in place restrictions on what it terms ‘Junk food’ advertising.

This will make it the first state to establish rules in regard to junk food ads appearing during kids’ television programs.

A report in the Australian has described how Queensland Health has started compiling feedback on the issue and is preparing recommendations for Premier Anna Bligh to consider, which are expected to lead to new laws governing the advertising of junk food during children’s television programs.

Those involved in the children’s food industry argue the term ‘junk food’ is derogatory and that all food is essentially healthy.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has advised the Australian Communications and Media Authority that there is “overwhelming evidence that food and beverage advertising to children is neither the primary, nor a significant, contributor to childhood obesity”.

There has, however, been a lot of research linking television advertisements with obesity and poor diet – a University of Liverpool study in England claimed food advertisements at least doubled a child’s dietary intake, suggesting food ads make children eat more and the fatter the child, the more effective the ads.