New restrictions proposed on advertising food to children, Health Minister says

Martin Johnston

The advertising of chips, chocolate, sugary fizz and other junk foods face new restrictions following a review.

“The major code change is an explicit restriction on advertising occasional food and beverage products to children,” said Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

He sees the review of children’s food ads as an important part of his plan to reduce childhood obesity. Eleven per cent of New Zealand children are obese – and 33 per cent are either obese or overweight, the third highest rate in the developed world.

The review panel, reporting to the Advertising Standards Authority, has proposed a single voluntary code on advertising to children to replace the existing two children’s codes which cover food and general advertising.

One of the proposed code’s rules says: “Occasional food and beverage product advertisements must not be screened, broadcast, published or displayed in any media or setting where more than 25 per cent of the expected audience are children.”

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