Food Environments and Marketing

The Problem

  • Our children are twice as likely to see unhealthy food being advertised as healthy food, up to nine ads per hour.
  • Around 60 to 90 percent of food marketing to children internationally is for unhealthy food.
  • Manufacturers spend billions of dollars on advertising to children because they know that children will buy these products, or will pester their parents to buy them.
  • Industry regulates itself through the ASA’s Code on Advertising to Children and Young People. This has limited sanctions and the code's effectiveness on reducing exposure is not monitored.
  • The Code does not cover sponsorship, brand advertising or product packaging.
  • New Zealand research shows children see junk food promoted on billboards, shop front posters and signs throughout their day. They see many more images targetting them, however, on product packaging.

Take Action

  • Children will benefit the most from a reduction in advertising of unhealthy food and drink.
  • Talk to your local sports club about replacing junk food marketing within the grounds.
  • Talk to your local school board about reducing exposure to food marketing at school.
  • Make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) when you see ads for junk food that are aimed at children.
  • Speak with your Councillor and Local Board members about the need to restrict junk food marketing on outdoor signs and council properties such as parks and recreation centres.
  • Other countries regulate this type of marketing – the UK, Ireland and South Korea. Contact your MP about regulatory changes.
  • Join the conversation on Instagram and post ads aimed at childen using the hashtag #dumpthejunknz.

Success in reducing obesity requires as many interventions as possible by a range of private and public sectors.