Food ads impact children

CHILDREN in Fiji are heavily exposed to advertisements of unhealthy food and beverages that have little nutritional value.

And as such, regulations have been put in place to regulate, control and monitor the advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks to children.

The revelation was made to participants of the sugar-sweetened beverage workshop by the national adviser non-communicable diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana in Labasa yesterday.

Dr Tukana said advertising influenced children’s food choices, purchase requests and consumption pattern.

“Regular consumption of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverages are known to significantly contribute to obesity in children and NCDs in adulthood.

“One of the most cost-effective steps that government can take to curb weight gain and obesity in children is to regulate, monitor and control the advertising of unhealthy foods to children.

“The regulation in place is aimed at protecting children’s health by creating an environment conducive to safe and adequate nutrition for children.

“Also, to reduce children’s exposure to promotion of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic drinks.”

The workshop is a joint initiative by Diabetes Fiji, Consumer Council of Fiji and National Food and Nutrition Centre.

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