Australians are in full support of a tax on sugary drinks, compulsory exercise in schools and a ban on junk food advertising to improve child health, according to the latest Australian Child Health Poll released today.
The poll found 88 per cent of Australians wanted children to participate in compulsory daily physical activity, with 60 per cent supporting a sugary drink tax and 79 per cent calling for a ban on junk food ads.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the survey showed overwhelming support from Australians for targeted interventions to improve child health.
“This poll shows Australians are serious about the health of our children – they want more action to ensure short and long-term health and wellbeing,” Ms Clift said.
“Australia’s obesity crisis is burgeoning – Queensland has the highest rate of obesity nationally, and about a quarter of our children are overweight or obese.
“We would welcome strong action by Federal and State Governments to examine the range of opportunities available to arrest this health crisis.”
Among a range of strategies, Cancer Council has recommended a ban on soft drink vending machines and marketing of soft drinks to children.
“We would welcome State Government action to restrict the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in all schools and other places frequented by children – like activity centres and sports events.
“Queensland children aged five to 12 should engage in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day for optimum health.
“Our recent Everyday Health Survey also showed support from the Queensland community for a ban on junk food advertising to children.
“More has to be done to ensure our children live healthy lives, reducing their risk of a range of chronic diseases, including cancer, as they age.
“It’s crucial for children to enjoy a well-balanced diet – they should drink plenty of water and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages including sports drinks, soft drinks, cordial and iced tea.
“Regular exercise and a healthy low-sugar diet is key to maintaining health and happiness.”
Cancer Council recommends all Queenslanders drink water or unflavoured low-fat milk for optimum health.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171