By Dominique Wiehahn and Camille Bianchi

Junk food advertisements would be banned during peak children’s viewing times under a plan released today by the Obesity Policy Coalition.

Junk food
Junk food. Photo: Dave Hunt

The move comes after a new study found 84 per cent of Australian consumers believe children need protection from junk food ads.

The Coalition has sent the plan to the Federal and State Governments in a bid to introduce new legislation to fight the issue.

The ban would be between 6am and 9am and 4pm  and 9 pm weekdays.

The Australian Chronic Disease Alliance has endorsed the plan.

“There’s compelling evidence that unhealthy food advertising does influence children’s food preferences and eating habits,” Alliance Chair Professor Gregg Johnson, said.

The Australian Medical Association has been pushing for the ban for several years, saying industry regulations are not effective.

“Decreasing the advertising will decrease the ‘pester power’ and give parents (control),” AMA Vice President Steve Hambleton, said.

Australian Council on Children in the Media president Elizabeth Handsley says the regulation need to be external, as advertisers are only interested in increasing revenue.

The legislation is yet to be passed in State or Federal Parliament.