Advocacy group Parents’ Voice has voiced its concerns about the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks during the current Tokyo Olympics and is now calling for the end of junk food and sugary drink sponsorship in sport.
Parents’ Voice Manager Alice Pryor said: “Parents are fed up with sugary drinks and unhealthy food marketing to kids via their sporting heroes. It’s past time for the Olympics, and all sport, to set a better example for kids and ditch the junk.”
“Watching the Olympics with your family is a vivid memory for most children, evoking feelings of unity and inclusion through sport. This is not an event that should ever be accompanied by ads and sponsorships for sugary drinks, fast food and chocolate.”
The group cites Coca-Cola’s official partnership with the Australian Olympic Team, as well as its inclusion as a ‘Worldwide Olympic Partner’ as being of particular concern.
The Australian Olympic Team is also sponsored by Cadbury, while McDonald’s is a broadcast partner.
Hannah Phillips, Melbourne parent of two, shared her concern.
“I want to be able to enjoy these moments with my family, but we can’t sit through a single event without being bombarded by these unhealthy food and drink ads. It seems our only option is to not watch,” Phillips said.
“I’m concerned about the influence of this marketing on our children. Why do these companies get to market to children through their favourite athletes? I want sport to support healthy behaviours, not undermine families.”
Pryor added: “If the Australian and International Olympic Committees are not going to take steps to remove these unhealthy sponsorships, then the Australian Government must step up. One in four Australian children are now above a healthy weight. Government must set a better standard and put the health and wellbeing of Aussie kids above corporate profit.”