Business is booming.

Teal independent to go after McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks in new bill: Dr Sophie Scamps

Teal independent to go after McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks – because she wants to BAN advertising junk food for children

  • dr. Sohpie Scamps won Mackellar’s seat in March federal election
  • Former GP wants to rethink how fast food is advertised to children
  • She’s working on a bill that could propose banning it from sports and prime-time TV

<!–

<!–

<!–<!–

<!–

<!–

<!–

Hamburgers, soft drinks and chocolate bars that graced prime-time screens for years could be banned under an advertising plan by a newly elected politician.

dr. Sophie Scamps has given away her GP job on Sydney’s northern beaches for an office in the parliament building, after being hit by Teal’s wave of support in the federal election in March.

The Independent member for Mackellar has her sights set on tackling Australia’s obesity epidemic and is working on a bill for private members to ban junk food advertising and sponsorship of sports teams in prime time.

‘Advertising aimed at children, when children are watching TV, at their sporting events, all those things have to be looked at. They can be changed,” Dr Scamps told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Primetime fast food ads are in the crosshairs of a newly elected federal MP (stock image)

Primetime fast food ads are in the crosshairs of a newly elected federal MP (stock image)

Who are the Teas?

The so-called Teals are a coalition of independents who snatched several key seats from the outgoing Liberal Party government in the 2022 federal election.

Backed by multi-millionaire Simon Holmes à Court, the Teals campaigned heavily on climate policy and other social issues among wealthy inner-city voters.

All seven Teal candidates won seats in parliament.

One of the biggest outlets for fast food advertising dollars is sports — both at the school and professional levels.

KFC has been synonymous with Australian cricket for decades, while Hungry Jack’s recently renewed its naming rights to the NBL.

Likewise, McDonald’s has just renewed its partnership with the AFL for another 10 years, funding its hundreds of grassroots sports clubs, as well as Little Athletics in NSW.

With the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimating that about a quarter of Aussie children are overweight and 10 percent obese, critics suggest junk food advertising could hinder sports’ healthy message to kids.

‘We have a choice. Either we’re looking at prevention, or we’re starting to radically expand our hospital systems now to address that chronic disease burden,” said Dr Scamps.

dr.  Sophie Scamps (pictured) wants to introduce a bill to limit junk food advertising on TV and in sports

dr.  Sophie Scamps (pictured) wants to introduce a bill to limit junk food advertising on TV and in sports

dr. Sophie Scamps (pictured) wants to introduce a bill to limit junk food advertising on TV and in sports

Under the advertising industry self-regulatory codes, images of fast food (shown) may be shown during programming blocks aimed specifically at children, but prime time is ok

Under the advertising industry self-regulatory codes, images of fast food (shown) may be shown during programming blocks aimed specifically at children, but prime time is ok

Under the advertising industry self-regulatory codes, images of fast food (shown) may be shown during programming blocks aimed specifically at children, but prime time is ok

She compared it to the tobacco advertising ban that swept through the sport in the 1980s.

The federal government has the power to impose such a blanket ban on advertising, but prefers to let the industry control itself through its official set of advertising standards codes.

This code indicates that sports sponsorship is fine – as long as only the company logo appears and no pictures of the food or drink in question are ever shown.

Also “junk food” shouldn’t be promoted during kids programming breaks – but is fine in primetime where kids can watch with adults and online is even more of a gray area.

According to the previous administration’s National Obesity Strategy — a plan to tackle the problem that appears to have been shelved ahead of federal elections — children were exposed to an average of more than 820 junk food ads annually.

Dr Scamps said a reduction in advertisements that children see would have a positive effect on their health and translate directly into a reduction in ‘pest power’.

McDonalds has been a staple of school and community sports for decades, but Dr.  Scamps said 'all those things need to be looked at'

McDonalds has been a staple of school and community sports for decades, but Dr.  Scamps said 'all those things need to be looked at'

McDonalds has been a staple of school and community sports for decades, but Dr. Scamps said ‘all those things need to be looked at’

HEALTHY WEIGHT IN CHILDREN

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, while being underweight can also be a health risk factor for some people.

Nearly a quarter (24.9 percent) of children aged 5-17 in Australia were overweight or obese in 2017-18 (17 percent overweight and 8.1 percent obese).

The percentages were similar for boys and girls and this has remained stable over the past ten years.

Among adolescents, there was a large increase for the 18-24 age group, with 38.9 percent overweight or obese in 2014-15 compared to 46.0 percent in 2017-18.

Source: Australian government ABS data.

.