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Children's television sub-standards: a call for significant amendments

Bridget P Kelly and Josephine Y Chau
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (1): 18.

To the Editor: Australia has one of the highest levels of food advertising on television in the developed world,1 with most advertisements being for foods that are high in fat, sugar, and/or salt.2 Evidence from international reviews suggests that television food advertising has an independent effect on children’s food preferences and purchasing requests.3,4 While the size of this effect is indeterminate, and the evidence base is correlational and therefore inadequate for making causal inferences,5 there is a highly plausible link between television food advertising and overweight and obesity. It is important to examine whether current regulations protect Australian children from excessive exposure to advertisements for unhealthy food on television.

  • Bridget P Kelly1
  • Josephine Y Chau2

  • School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Acknowledgements: 

We wish to acknowledge Lesley King, Vicki Flood and Ben Smith for their contribution to the children’s television advertising study and their assistance in writing this letter.

Competing interests:

NSW Health provided funding for the television advertising study.

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