Diabetes Fiji in collaboration with Consumer Council of Fiji and National Food and Nutrition Center will be conducting a high-powered workshop tomorrow to discuss marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children.
The workshop is part of national effort to working towards reducing incidents of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) being “Fiji’s biggest killer”. This workshop will provide an opportunity to stakeholders to support and promote practical efforts to address NCDs in Fiji such as taxation of sugar-sweetened drinks and laws to control the irresponsible marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.
The workshop would also be an opportunity to share some of the efforts being undertaken to address health and nutrition issues affecting our children at national and global level.
It is imperative that the like-minded institutions work together to map out prompt precautionary measures to control sugar sweetened beverages including advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods to children before the problem escalates beyond our means.
Studies in Fiji have demonstrated that the cost of soft drinks is often lower than water that healthier foods are difficult to find in schools and that children are exposed to considerable marketing, sponsorship and promotion of less healthy foods and are affected by that advertising. Research has also shown that children are particularly vulnerable to marketing; they struggle to discern marketing hype from fact and are more likely to be influenced and confused by advertising than adults. They need protection from irresponsible advertisements and promotion of unhealthy foods.
Legal measures must be put in place to combat irresponsible advertising and promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages, especially where children are the target audience and in some cases children are used to market the products.
The participants of the workshop will comprise of teachers/educators, teachers’ groups, community workers etc. or organizations and persons who would be in a position to impart the information and issues to their respective members, community or constituents.
The workshop will be held at the Studio 6 Conference Room, Suva from 9.00am – 2pm.
(This is a joint communiqué from the following)
Dr Wahid Khan Dr. Tukana Mrs. Premila Kumar
Chair Director NCD CEO
Diabetes Fiji Ministry of Health Consumer Council, Fiji