(OrganicJar) TV junk food ads do not make children fat, soft-drink makers and advertisers have told an inquiry, but psychologists say advertising heavily influences what foods children eat. And those aged under eight cannot tell the difference between an ad and a TV program, the Australian Psychological Society said.
The inquiry is considering a proposal to ban TV advertising for food and drink during children’s viewing hours. Under the draft law, the health minister could grant exemptions for healthy food and beverages.
Australian Beverages Council chief executive Tony Gentile said there was no link between obesity and advertising. ”I don’t believe that advertising has any marked effect, or that there is any evidence out there that it has a marked effect on obesity,” he said.
However, the Australian Psychological Society said advertising to children clearly influenced their food choices and the younger the child, the greater the impact. ”The marketing of junk foods to children uses most of the psychological and social techniques that we know to be effective in changing behavior.”
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