Health Experts have called for a ban on junk foods and soft drinks in hospitals, schools and other public institutions to help reduce the rate of diabetes and obesity. Australia has the world's fastest-growing childhood obesity rate, and obesity is strongly linked with type-2 diabetes.
In an article published in this week's Medical Journal of Australia, Paul Zimmet, Director of the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, and Philip James, Chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce in London have called for measures to regulate the powerful food industry.
They have asked for tougher economic policies to control the availability of low-quality foods and have suggested measures like subsidizing fresh food, levying taxes on junk foods, and clear color-coded labels on food products to denote nutritional quality.
In the article they have noted that it is time to acknowledge that measures to control obesity like promoting exercise and eating healthy food have failed, and have further said that "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."
The experts say that if the measures to curbs obesity were in place then the obesity crisis could move into reverse within just one year. Tony Abott, the Federal Health Minister, said, "it is unrealistic to expect Government to supervise every meal time. In the end, individuals are responsible for what goes into their mouths," and said the government would not consider taxing processed foods.