The Big Mac.
The Big Mac. Contributed

Just ad junk

SATURDAY AFL, Saturday night family movies and X-Factor have topped a list of more than 100 popular television programs for having the highest amount of junk food ads during the ad breaks.

Cancer Council NSW has named the programs in it's Fat Free TV Guide, a website which rates and ranks the best and worst programs based on how much junk food is advertised.

The guide reveals that children watching the three unhealthiest programs would be exposed to 26 junk food ads for foods like chocolate, high energy drinks, and fast food chains over a six hour viewing period.

Meanwhile, the guide also reveals that if a child was to eat a serve of all of the foods advertised during a single episode of Saturday AFL, they would consume seven times more fat, and four times more sugar than the recommended daily intake, proving that junk food advertising is sending the wrong messages about healthy eating.

Research suggests that advertising leads children to pester their parents for junk food an average of 15 times per visit to the supermarket*.

They are successful in half of these attempts.

The Nutrition Manager at Cancer Council NSW Clare Hughes said parents have the biggest role to play in encouraging their children to eat healthily.

"But they have a tough job battling the multi-million dollar food and advertising industries," Ms Hughes said.

"What we would like to see is advertising regulation that limits children's exposure to junk food advertising during their favourite TV programs.

"Until we get tougher regulation, Fat Free TV gives parents the power to make healthier choices about what their children watch, allowing them to minimise their exposure to junk food advertising."

The unhealthiest shows were:

  1. Saturday AFL (Channel 10)
  2. Saturday Family Movie (Channel 9)
  3. The X Factor (Channel 7)
  4. Dancing with the Stars (Channel 7)
  5. The Simpsons (Channel 10)
  6. Saturday Family movie (Channel 10)
  7. Sunrise (Channel 7)
  8. Junior Masterchef (Channel 10)
  9. Two and a Half Men (Channel 9)
  10. Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Channel 10)

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