Activists call for more restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to children

With one day to go before the 21 July closing of the public comment period for new draft legislation on mandatory food labelling and restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks, the Healthy Living Alliance (Heala) is calling on government to strengthen the proposed marketing restrictions – specifically, to place tougher restrictions on advertising and marketing to children.

The new draft regulations, called R3337, include long-awaited, mandatory front-of-pack warning labels for foods high in added sugars, fats and salt, and on any product containing artificial (non-sugar) sweeteners, to reduce the risks of obesity and non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The draft regulations also propose long-awaited restrictions on the marketing and advertising of foods and drinks to children, who are particularly vulnerable to the influences of marketing, and are often the targets of “aggressive food and beverage advertising campaigns”, Heala says.