Queensland government bans outdoor junk food advertising

By Nick Hall | 23 Apr 2019 View comments

The Queensland government is banning junk food ads across billboards, train stations and transport in a move aimed at curbing growing obesity levels. State Health Minister Steven Miles said the Queensland junk food ad ban would phase out at more than 2,000 outdoor advertising spaces.

“Junk food advertisers target kids. We know that and obesity in childhood is a leading indicator of obesity in adulthood,” Miles said in a press conference on Sunday.

“We have an ambitious target to increase the number of Queenslanders with a healthy weight by 10 per cent by 2026, and this is one way we can do that.”

Despite the announcement, the Queensland junk food ad ban will not apply to the state’s big sporting venues. According to the state government, contracts involving stadiums are complex, meaning change there will be slow.

Additionally, the ban won’t stop fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s from plugging their healthy options. Ultimately, all foods will be ruled in or out depending on their salt, sugar and fat content.

However, some industry bodies suggest the move will have little impact.

“The very nature of outdoor advertising is it’s targeting the majority of consumers who are adults, who can exercise their choice through consumer power,” spokesperson from the Australian Food and Grocery Council told Inside Franchise Business.

“We would also point out 53,000 people work in the Queensland food and groceries sector and codes are in place to restrict promotion of high salt, fat and sugar products to children.”

Regardless of health impact, Queenslanders can expect to see fewer Big Macs on billboards as the state tackles the combative issue.

Additional reporting: AAP