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    ron batagol

    Whilst I endorse the stated aims of encouraging governments, (but even more importantly in my view, the community at large), to set advertising standards regarding misleading health claims and actively promoting healthier, more sustainable lifestyles, and addressing the demand for unhealthy products as well as the supply, I’m not so comfortable with prohibiting promotion of unhealthy products and strengthening laws making corporations liable for the health-related damage associated with products they produce and promote, because I’m not sure how, in a democratic society we can successfully “demand” or successfully and legally achieve these outcomes.”
    • As just one instance of the impracticability of “prohibiting” strategies, if one looks closely at the latest New York Bloomberg initiative with regard to “super-size” drinks, the ban will only apply to certain store locations and some of the fast food outlets will still be able to promote and sell these products. So the food junkies will easily find these and other available sources for their eating/drinking addiction! Indeed, with regard to what are the likely success of “socially desirable political reforms” in the Australian contemporary environment , if we look at the public health area alone, we currently have a raft of very laudable but half-baked Government reforms in the offing, complete with duplication and groaning with additional layers of bean counters and bureaucracy- and does anyone think that this makes for better health outcomes?? So, with the political processes ( and people) we have at our disposal, be careful what you wish for in the food/lifestyle area !
    I respect and understand that The Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA. would wish to advocate these sort of measures, and it’s important that we have public health advocates who are well-regarded continue to do so. However, I really do worry if as a society we harboured and nurtured the simplistic delusion that the easy answer to people adopting a self-destructive lifestyle was to demonise the suppliers and purveyors of unhealthy products and to impose draconian, ham-fisted “nanny state” solutions to problems that are best tackled in the long-term, by improving community engagement, collaboration and understanding of these issues through better targeted education in schools and at home, and, (however we may hesitate to do so), developing tangible incentives and encouragement for industry to co-operate in food and lifestyle initiatives related to improving community health. After all, we are moving away from punishment and harsh legislation for drug addicts- why promote these techniques as a community solution to the problem of the proliferation within the community of unhealthy food patterns and poor lifestyle choices?

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