Kids still exposed to same level of junk food ads on TV

Sydney : Children still have the same dose of junk foods TV ads as they did before self-regulation was introduced last year.

Study leader Lesley King, an adjunct senior lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Prevention Research Collaboration, said of the 41 firms advertising foods in May 2009, only 14 signed up the industry code.

Firms signing up for the code of conduct had reduced their volume of junk food ads, but the volume of such ads from other food companies, which had not signed, remains unchanged.

Altogether, the study found that the average number of unhealthy food ads per hour is the same as it was in 2007, reports the International Journal of Paediatric Obesity.

“So, after 12 months there has only been limited uptake of the voluntary industry code,” said King, according to a Sydney release.

“Also, for the changes observed in 2009 to be sustained, the code would need to be stronger. Reducing the advertising of unhealthy foods to children is an important part of the ongoing efforts to reduce childhood obesity.”

“So far, there have been no benefits for children,” she said.

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