Former GP turned Independent MP Sophie Scamps has picked a fight with fast food advertising in Australia, highlighting the growing issues of obesity among children.
Dr Scamps, who was one of several independents to ride the Teal wave at the latest federal election, has prepared a private bill aiming to target fast food advertisements and sponsorship.
The bill will focus on the quantity of junk food advertising on prime time television, as well as the number of sports sponsorships across multiple codes and levels of competition.
The primary targets include KFC, who sponsor Australian cricket; Hungry Jacks, who support the NBL; and McDonald’s, who recently extended its partnership with the AFL and support a wide range of grassroots and community competitions including Little Athletics.
Dr Scamps said to the Sydney Morning Herald: “Advertising that targets children, during the times when children are watching TV, at their sporting events, all those things need to be looked at. They can be changed.
“We have a choice. We either look at prevention, or we start to expand our hospital systems radically now to deal with that chronic health disease burden.”
She compared the bill to the imposed ban on tobacco ads that hit the sporting world in the 80s.
A recent study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reckoned one quarter of Aussie kids are overweight, and 10 per cent are obese.
The government’s last attempt to tackle obesity among Australians, which found children were exposed to more than 820 junk food ads per year, was ditched ahead of the most recent federal election.