Unhealthy food environments are known to be major drivers of diet-related non-communicable diseases globally, and there is an imperative for major food companies to be publicly accountable for their actions to improve the healthiness of food environments. This paper examines the prevalence
of publicly available policies and commitments of major packaged food and soft drink manufacturers, and fast-food restaurants in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with respect to reducing food marketing to children and product (re)formulation. In each country, the most prominent companies in
each sector were selected. Company policies, commitments and relevant industry initiatives were gleaned from company and industry association websites. In Australia and New Zealand, there are a higher proportion of companies with publicly available marketing and formulation policies than in
Fiji. However, even in Australia, a large proportion of the most prominent food companies do not have publicly available policies. Where they exist, policies on food marketing to children generally focus on those aged less than 12, do not apply to all types of media, marketing channels and
techniques, and do not provide transparency with respect to the products to which the policies apply. Product formulation policies, where they exist, focus mostly on salt reduction and changes to the make-up of overall product portfolios, and do not generally address saturated fat, added sugar
and energy reduction. In the absence of strong policies and corresponding actions by the private sector, it is likely that government action (e.g. through co-regulation or legislation) will be needed to drive improved company performance.
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Document Type: Research Article
WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia
School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Publication date: May 27, 2015
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