Public Consultation: Feasibility study on options to limit unhealthy food marketing to children

Closes 15 Mar 2024

Opened 2 Feb 2024

Overview

Australians' diets are currently sub-optimal, with the majority of people consuming inadequate amounts of core foods and too many discretionary foods. This has negative impacts on population health, including through increased rates of overweight and obesity and a range of associated chronic diseases.

Exposure to marketing for unhealthy foods and drinks can influence food choices and dietary intake. This is especially true in childhood, when children are forming food habits and marketing can be a powerful socialisation agent. Current measures to reduce children's exposure to unhealthy food marketing in Australia are predominantly industry-led and voluntary in nature, with minimal regulatory protections in place.  

The Australian Government is investing in a feasibility study on options to limit unhealthy food marketing to children. The study will provide a better understanding of the options available to limit such marketing, including relevant costs and benefits, feasibility, acceptability, impact on priority populations and monitoring and evaluation implications. This work is supported by the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032 and the National Diabetes Strategy 2021-2030, which all include restricting unhealthy food marketing to children as a policy goal.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has engaged a project team led by the University of Wollongong to deliver the study. The project team includes experts in nutrition, unhealthy food marketing to children and health economic analysis. Recommendations will be provided to Government for consideration by mid-2024.

Why your views matter

Your views are being sought to obtain a better understanding of the impacts of Government action to limit unhealthy food marketing to children. Information on costs to relevant industries, benefits to public health, preferred policy options, barriers and enablers, and monitoring and evaluation considerations is highly valued.

We are also interested in the impacts of unhealthy food marketing to children on priority populations including: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and/or other sexuality and gender diverse people (LGBTQI+); people with mental illness; people of low socioeconomic status; people with disability; and people from rural, regional and remote areas. 

The consultation paper (see attachments below) has been informed by literature reviews on:

1) the nature and extent of Australian children’s exposure to food marketing;

2) the impact of this marketing on children’s diet-related outcomes;

3) the national and international regulatory landscape governing marketing practices for food and other commodities; and

4) the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of food marketing policies.

The findings from the consultation will inform the list of policy options to be considered. The costs and benefits of these options will be analysed and inform the final recommendations provided to Government. 

Give us your views

Audiences

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Men
  • Women
  • Carers and guardians
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Young people
  • Academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • State government agencies
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Local governments
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • General public
  • Community groups
  • Businesses

Interests

  • Regulatory policy
  • Children's health
  • Chronic disease
  • Food standards
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Preventative health
  • Strategic Policy
  • Policy Development