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August 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The Ministry of Health and its stakeholders have agreed on the need to ban advertisements for non-nutritious snack foods on television and radio.

This was revealed in the Fiji Bureau of Statistics report on Poverty in Fiji ’Changes and Policy Implication'.

The report stated the stakeholders also agreed on the need to ban sponsorship of children’s sports by manufacturers of non-nutritious food products, with the revenue short-falls for sporting bodies to be provided by tax-payers through the annual Fiji Government budget.

The proposal ban follows a report which identified advertisements are a biggest influence of children to be attracted to junk foods.

"The ministry is now requesting companies to voluntarily pull their advertisements out from TV and radio,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Peni Namotu.

Namotu told FijiLive t hey will implement the ban later.

For the ban of the sponsorship of children’s sport by non-nutritious manufacturers, he said talks are underway and the ministry will comment later on the issue.

The report also that found Indo-Fijians were most influenced by advertisements and suggested the need for more investigation as to why they are easily influenced.

“There are large nominal increases taking place for both poorer and richer Indo-Fijian. Indo-Fijian household spends so much on junk foods consumed by children, it said.

The Ministry of Health is greatly concerned with excessive consumption of junk food with minimal nutritious content.

The ministry has also agreed on concerted national campaigns and competitions to design nutritious snack foods using local agricultural and marine products that are acceptable to children’s tastes, and affordable in the Fijian market.

By Ropate Valemei


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