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Public health groups applaud Queensland's actions to improve diets and address obesity

Friday 3 August, 2018

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has applauded the Queensland Government for committing to restrict sugary drinks and junk foods in public hospitals and health care facilities, as well as phasing out junk food advertising near schools, public transport hubs, and sports grounds.

OPC Executive Manager Jane Martin said sugary drinks and unhealthy food have no place in hospitals or health services, and called on other state and territory governments across Australia, who are yet to act, to also take action.

“Hospitals and health facilities are designed to keep our communities healthy, so it just doesn't make sense for them to be selling high sugar drinks and processed food," Ms Martin said.

Queensland joins New South Wales, which has successfully removed sugary drinks from hospitals. A number of regional health services around Australia have also removed sugary drinks, including Victoria’s Western District Health Service and Barwon Health.

“We also congratulate the Queensland Government for leading the development of guidelines to phase out advertising of junk food targeting children in settings such as schools, sport and recreation centres, as well as public transport hubs.”

With 27% of Australian children an unhealthy weight, Ms Martin said we have a serious problem on our hands.

“More than 40% of the energy in children’s diets is coming from junk foods and, as every parent knows, marketing is a key driver influencing this.”

“We look forward to the Queensland Government progressing these initiatives to continue improving diets and halting our increasing obesity rates, particularly among children.”

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About the Obesity Policy Coalition

The OPC is a partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Victoria and the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention. The OPC advocates for evidence-based policy and regulatory change to address overweight, obesity and unhealthy diets in Australia.