Cancer Council Queensland has today welcomed an announcement by the State Government to limit sugary drinks and junk food in government owned hospitals and health care facilities by the end of the year.
Junk food advertising around children in schools, sports groups and public transport hubs will also be restricted.
The announcement was part of an initiative by the COAG Health Council, led by Queensland.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan commended the government for taking active measures to reduce the burden of obesity across the state.
“With one quarter of Queensland children overweight or obese, strategies like this will help to improve the health of the next generation,” Ms McMillan said.
“We commend the Queensland Government on this landmark move to help limit the sale of sugary drinks and junk food across the state to tackle obesity.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages in particular are a major source of sugar in the Australian diet. Young Australians are the highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and socially disadvantaged groups.
“We know that these beverages have little or no nutritional value, provide excess energy, and lead to weight gain.
“Obesity is an established risk factor for some cancers and other chronic diseases. Although many factors influence obesity, research shows sugary drinks and junk food play a significant role in driving up obesity rates.
“We have a responsibility, together with community groups and health authorities, to facilitate healthy choices and limit the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and junk food and regulate the marketing of junk food to children.”
26 per cent of children and 64 per cent of Queensland adults are overweight and obese.
Cancer Council Queensland is currently running an Everyday Health Survey on sugar-sweetened beverages, aiming to identify consumer habits, determine understanding of the health impacts of sugary drinks, and assess support for regulations to reduce consumption.
Queenslanders aged 18 and over can have their say by completing the survey at www.cancerqld.org.au/everydayhealthsurvey.
For more about Cancer Council Queensland visit cancerqld.org.au or phone 13 11 20.
For more information, contact:
Laura McKoy, Manager, Public Relations, Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5345 or 0409 001 171