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FOOD AND BEVERAGE SECTOR: A KEY PARTNER IN DRIVING HEALTHIER OUTCOMES
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said the release of a national obesity plan by a group of academics and activists ignored the work already underway across the food and beverage sector to drive healthier choices.
AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson said the report was big on bans and taxes but short on common sense.
“Highly interventionist policies like banning certain foods and imposing new food taxes are like putting a bureaucrat in every kitchen, when we know that for most people the answer is simply to move a bit more and eat a bit less,” Mr Dawson said.
“The report ignores the strong commitment of Governments, Australia’s food and beverage sector and health bodies in driving improved health outcomes which are empowering consumers through improved food labelling, reformulation, reducing portion sizes of products and encouraging increased physical activity.
“The work being done collaboratively under the Federal Government’s Healthy Food Partnership program and the rapid uptake of the Health Star Rating food labelling scheme are examples of practical action to encourage healthier choices.
“By contrast, this tired agenda of more and more food taxes, and nanny-state bans has been tried in other countries with no evidence of an improvement in obesity rates.
“Giving consumers, and parents, the information and range of choices they need to improve the diet of themselves and their families is a more effective strategy than putting a bureaucrat in every kitchen.
“The food and beverage sector is playing a key role in improving the food choices available for the Australian consumer through:
- Promoting and supporting healthy balanced lifestyles that involve responsible eating habits and regular exercise;
- Providing clear and meaningful fact-based nutrition information and labelling;
- Increasing the availability of products with fewer kilojoules, including more reduced, low- and no-kilojoule product offerings, as well as smaller portion sizes;
- Ensuring the marketing of treats is not directed at children; and
- Supporting greater physical activity, particularly among children.
AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002