Health experts in Australia have called for a ban on junk food and soft drinks in hospital, schools and other public institutions. The aim? To stem the steady tide of ‘diabesity’ that is sweeping Australia. Encouraging healthy eating and subsidising fresh food to make it cheaper would also reduce diabetes and obesity rates .
Paul Zimmet, the director of the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, and Philip James, the chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce located in London have made a public call to step up measures against obesity.
The pair have released a report in the Medical Journal of Australia this week. They write: “Health professionals and their peer organisations must demand that all junk foods and soft drinks be kept out of health institutions, schools and public institutions, as these products can induce as much illness as tobacco. They should also go public, demanding political change to transform the school environment and curriculum to improve physical and nutritional education, as well as the food and drink on the premises.”
The State Government said that banning junk food would only be symbolic, stating: “Kids don’t get fat because they have a hamburger while they stay at the Royal Children’s Hospital. They get fat because they get fed hamburgers all the time and don’t do any exercise. We prefer to focus our efforts on measures which affect real change in the behaviour of the community.”
According to one expert, Australia now has the fastest-growing childhood obesity rate in the whole world.

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