Healthy food advocate Carolyn Simmonds wants people to start thinking about the way junk food is advertised.
Ms Simmonds has joined the Cancer Council’s Saving Life 2019 campaign. The Dubbo mother wants the NSW government to remove junk food advertising from government-owned property like buses and trains.
“I’ve been through cancer, I’ve been through the treatment. I’m so grateful that the lifesaving treatment is available. I had chemotherapy and radiation and I’ve had a breast reconstruction. But it was horrendous,” she said.
“I do not want anyone else to go through that so if there’s anything else that we can do to prevent these chronic illnesses than we should be doing it.
“We know lifestyle factors – healthy eating and exercise – can have a huge impact on the prevention of not just cancer, but so many preventable diseases.”
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Ms Simmonds said we eat an average of 50 kilograms of food additives a year. She said one-fifth of the additives that are allowed in the food in Australia are considered carcinogenic.
According to the Cancer Council, almost 250,000 children in NSW are overweight or obese. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows only three per cent of children eat the recommended five serves of vegetables every day, while only two-thirds eat enough fruit.
Ms Simmonds said the government was making profit off the advertisements, which were in direct conflict to the healthy eating messages.
“Allowing junk food advertising to be plastered on buses and train stations undermines any strategies to support healthy eating and active living,” she said.
“The government needs to put our kids before the profits of an industry that doesn’t have our best interests at heart. They can reap the profits now or pay later in health costs.”
By removing the advertisements, Ms Simmonds said the government was removing some of the “pester power” of children pressuring their parents to buy something.