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Fiji Time: 1:41 AM on Tuesday 2 September

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Billboards a concern

Timoci Vula
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

WHILE the National Food Policy for Schools has been established, the Consumer Council of Fiji says the luring impact of unhealthy food advertising outside the school system is still a matter of concern.

And four months after the launch of the policy, the council conducted a brief survey in January last year to gauge the level of conformity to the policy.

Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar said the survey involved a visit by their research team to four prominent schools in the Suva area.

She said the team also made observations outside one school where food vendors normally sold their products to students.

"The team found that unhealthy or junk food were still being displayed prominently and sold to students," Mrs Kumar said.

"There were also instances where food was prepared and sold in unhygienic conditions or left exposed," she said.

Mrs Kumar highlighted the council's participation in the Consumers International Survey in 2009 of international fast food chains. She said the survey involved 14 countries and covered three major fast food chains, two of which existed in Fiji. She said the Fiji survey held in April to May that year found that fast food outlets were still marketing meals with high levels of fat, sugar and salt to children.


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