Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association

Health Public Policy Public opinion on food-related obesity prevention policy initiatives

Belinda Morley, Jane Martin, Philippa Niven and Melanie Wakefield

Health Promotion Journal of Australia 23(2) 86 - 91
Published: 01 August 2012


Issue addressed: The study was designed to determine public acceptability of various forms of regulation to support a healthy eating environment. Methods: Telephone interviews were undertaken in June-July 2010 with a random sample of adults in Australia who were the main grocery buyer for their household. Results: Data were analysed for 1,511 adults. A clear majority of participants (80% or more) were in favour of traffic light and kilojoule menu labelling, reformulation to reduce the fat, salt and sugar content of processed foods, and regulation of broadcast and non-broadcast avenues used to market unhealthy food and drinks to children. Relatively less support (two-thirds or more), particularly among lower socioeconomic status participants, was shown for taxation policies and controls on food company sponsorship of sports and education programs. Despite the survey?s focus on food marketing avenues and methods directed at children, for the most part non-parents were just as likely as parents to support restrictions. Conclusions: Overall, these findings indicate that there is strong public support for the introduction of policy initiatives aimed at creating a healthier food environment.

© Australian Health Promotion Association 2012

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