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Junk food

Analysis and Comment (22)

Facebook users willingly spread marketing messages on behalf of food and beverage corporations. Facebook users willingly spread marketing messages on behalf of food and beverage corporations. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Digital junk: food and beverage marketing on Facebook

We all know obesity is a common, serious, and costly health issue. But while government action has stalled and the debate rages on about how best to combat this growing public health disaster, junk food…
Local communities can support healthy eating and active lifestyles in a range of settings. Local communities can support healthy eating and active lifestyles in a range of settings. Peter Bernik/Shutterstock

Big junk vs people power: how we can fix our collective weight problem

Over the past three decades, the Australasia region has outpaced other regions of the world with the largest absolute increase in adult obesity. Poor diet and high body mass index have overtaken tobacco…
Supersize me: buffet edition. Supersize me: buffet edition. Joanna Servaes

Junk food rats ditch balanced diet to eat just like obese people

Rats are very useful for studying human eating behaviour. Both rats and humans are omnivores, and both use flavour conditioning – learning through taste and experience which foods are good to eat and which…
Consumers make subconscious decisions on what to consume. Consumers make subconscious decisions on what to consume. Zoe/Flickr

Emotions and eating: a marketer’s dream?

Both research and popular media tell us that emotions and eating are intrinsically related. How many times have we seen a character in a TV show reaching for the ice-cream tub when feeling particularly…
The food company sponsorship of the World Cup, including from soft drink giant Coca-Cola, is arguably a direct attack on efforts to improve child health in Latin America. The food company sponsorship of the World Cup, including from soft drink giant Coca-Cola, is arguably a direct attack on efforts to improve child health in Latin America. EPA/Guillaume Horcajuelo

A World Cup of opportunities for junk food companies

On Saturday night, just hours before the latest quarter-finals of the World Cup, viewers watching SBS World News were exposed to over two and a half minutes of marketing for Coca-Cola. And that’s not even…
Public hospitals have a remarkably unhealthy food environment. Public hospitals have a remarkably unhealthy food environment. Ralf/Flickr

Public hospitals owe their workers (and visitors) better food

Apart from treating the ill and injured, public hospitals are workplaces that – positively or negatively – affect the health and well-being of their employees. Ensuring easy access to healthy food and…
Twins can tell us a lot about our meat and two veg. Twins can tell us a lot about our meat and two veg. Bloody marty mix

Fussy children won’t eat their greens? They probably got that from your genes

Health professionals and parents appear to disagree about what determines children’s food preferences. While the former often take the view that healthy foods and the absence of “junk food” in the home…
Almost half of Melbourne supermarkets' end-of-aisle displays promote junk food. Almost half of Melbourne supermarkets' end-of-aisle displays promote junk food. Flickr/Vox Efx

Big supermarkets, big on junk food: how to make healthier food environments

Supermarkets are an essential part of modern living – open almost all the time, selling almost everything, and selling it cheap. Nowhere is this more true than in Australia. Coles and Woolworths, our two…
People should not be hungry with the food, resources, and technology at our disposal. People should not be hungry with the food, resources, and technology at our disposal. PA

Staying alive shouldn’t depend on your purchasing power

How much would you pay for staying alive? How much would you pay for breathing pure air? That may seem a silly question since air is everywhere, accessible to all. Air is a global public good, part of…
Swap those fries for stale bread, says Jamie. Swap those fries for stale bread, says Jamie. PA

Jamie Oliver blames the poor while food industry cashes in

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s characterisation of poor people eating “chips and cheese out of styrofoam containers” in front of “massive fucking TVs” doesn’t represent all poor people, working or otherwise…
Ready, steady, go - but not not everyone likes traffic systems. Ready, steady, go - but not not everyone likes traffic systems.

Food traffic lights are green for go but EU holds back more radical measures

Last Wednesday was a good day for those of us who have been campaigning for years for more understandable food labelling. The UK Government announced their final recommendation for front-of-pack nutrition…
When it comes to food we follow our parents. When it comes to food we follow our parents. PA/Anthony Devlin

Time to face hard truths when it comes to obese children

We’re grappling with a rapidly increasing number of children who are obese. In the US, where a third of Americans are considered obese, a leading group of doctors have officially designated obesity as…
Coca-Cola’s business strategy is to build brand loyality and trust. Coca-Cola’s business strategy is to build brand loyality and trust. Flickr/orangeacid

Coca-Cola part of the solution to obesity? Yeah right!

Coca-Cola made headlines this week with a new television advertising campaign. It begins with a voice-over: “We’d like people to come together on something that concerns all of us – obesity”. The ad then…
McDonald’s has been slapped on the wrist for marketing its Happy Meal to children online. McDonald’s has been slapped on the wrist for marketing its Happy Meal to children online. Skynet

Would you like a side of advertising with your Happy Meal?

As public health organisations and the food and advertising industries continue to debate the regulation of marketing unhealthy foods to children, I’ve learnt that health organisations must take the wins…
Hospitals provide a regular flow of captive customers for fast food outlets. Hospitals provide a regular flow of captive customers for fast food outlets. Roslyn in Starfish Island

Fast food restaurants have no place in our hospitals

A number of commentators have raised concerns recently about the increasing corporate presence in Australian schools. At a time of burgeoning rates of obesity and chronic disease, the increasing presence…
Businesses sponsor schools to increase sales and generate product loyalty. Businesses sponsor schools to increase sales and generate product loyalty. Elizabeth/Table4Five

Why schools and corporate brands shouldn’t mix

The furore following the announcement that Jenny Craig CEO Amy Smith would address a gathering of hundreds of girls' school teachers has once again brought the uncomfortable issue of corporate presence…
Cakes aren’t universally unhealthy – and they play an important role in our society. Cakes aren’t universally unhealthy – and they play an important role in our society. Flickr/comedy nose

Healthy or harmful? It’s a piece of cake

The obesity epidemic is creating panic in the community, with media commentators expressing outrage at our widening waistbands and academics raising alarms about the health implications of carrying excess…
Children remember advertisements and, more often than not, they want what they see. Children remember advertisements and, more often than not, they want what they see. Dimitris Papazimouris

Fat Free TV – one step towards tackling childhood obesity

The impact of junk food advertising on childhood obesity is a topic often debated in the media. One side calls for banning junk food advertising during children’s television viewing times while the other…
ACMA has handballed responsibility for regulating junk food advertising to kids to a preventive health agency. ACMA has handballed responsibility for regulating junk food advertising to kids to a preventive health agency. Eekadman

Junk food advertising to kids – what’s next for regulation?

There’s no evidence that industry self-regulation works to restrict junk food advertising to children. That’s the unsurprising finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) long-awaited…
The food industry has won this round but the traffic light labelling fight isn’t over yet. The food industry has won this round but the traffic light labelling fight isn’t over yet. IJClark

States should stand up to the food industry on traffic light labelling

The Federal Government has defied expert advice and rejected a traffic light food labelling system for packaged foods, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to show it would give consumers the information…
Plain packaging is one of many health reforms to enter or pass through parliament last week. Plain packaging is one of many health reforms to enter or pass through parliament last week. AAP

Plain packaging wraps up a big year for health legislation in 2011

The final sitting of federal parliament last week lacked no drama, ending with the sudden induction of Peter Slipper as speaker. It was also a mammoth week for health legislation, with the passing of the…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (5)

Credit cards users eat more junk food

Using cash and not credit cards to buy groceries leads to lower consumption of junk food, according to US researchers. Consumers…