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Greens renew action in Senate to tackle obesity.



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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Friday, 22 August 2008

Greens renew action in Senate to tackle obesity

The Greens will renew action in the Senate to tackle the $58 billion-a-year cost of obesity on the Australian community, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said in Perth today.

"The report from Access Economics showing the annual $58 billion cost of obesity to the Australian community is alarming and unacceptable. The Greens will be reintroducing legislation to the Senate aimed at tackling the problem, beginning with childhood obesity," Senator Brown said.

"In Western Australia, the Labor party supported a Greens' initiative in the Upper House to allow for a ban on junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours. However, after lobbying from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Labor back-flipped and dropped the measure."

"The Greens will be reintroducing a Democrats bill to ban junk food advertising to the Senate," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown said a Greens' amendment to ban junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours had been continually rejected in the Senate by Labor and the Coalition.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This policy will cost nothing to implement but will save billions of dollars in health costs.

“Only 1 per cent of food advertising promotes healthy food. The other 99 per cent promotes fast food, soft drinks, ice cream and other junk food. Parents need help to ensure their children remain healthy and active and removing the ‘pester-power’ of junk food advertising will do that.” Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603