The Australian administration of Julia Gillard is being urged by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to strengthen regulations on junk food and alcohol advertising. This recommendation follows on the tough stance the government has taken against big tobacco, by measures that mean that tobacco can only be sold in plain packages without logo’s or brand colors.
“There has been significant progress on the part of government in tackling smoking rates but gaps remain regarding excess weight and excess alcohol use,” the AMA states in its federal budget submission.
The current administration is forcing all tobacco products to be sold in plain olive-brown packs from December. It has also moved to ban tobacco companies from advertising on the internet.
Still, health experts have been disappointed that the government has refused to implement key recommendations of its own preventative health taskforce concerning fast food and alcohol.
The government refused to implement ‘blanket’ advertising bans in 2010, arguing that both fast food and alcohol could be consumed in moderation, while even one cigarette caused damage.
The AMA, however, wants alcohol advertising restricted to publications, locations and times that minimize their influence on people under the age of 18.
They also want the government to ban all marketing which specifically targets teenagers and to prohibit alcohol manufacturers from sponsoring sporting events.
With tougher regulations on marketing the AMA argues, it would become easier for Australians to make healthy choices about their lives. They also stated that excessive alcohol use, excess weight and smoking continue to reduce people’s life expectancy by five years on average.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 02/07/12