How food packaging lies to you
Can you imagine the sheer scale of the national outrage if giant tobacco companies started marketing their products directly to our children?
If, instead of the plain packaging laws Australia introduced for cigarette packets in 2012, they were wrapped in attractive, brightly coloured cardboard, maybe with cartoon characters or sports stars on the box?
We would never allow it to happen, would we?
We would picket and protest, and we'd bombard our MP's offices with phone calls and letters until they did something about it.
But for too long we've said nothing as the giant food companies behind some of our most popular brands shamelessly target kids in their marketing, all while hiding just how unhealthy and dangerous their products actually are.
Consider this: Tobacco is responsible for about eight million deaths globally every year. Poor dietary choices, on the other hand, claim almost 11 million lives ever year.
Sugar, of course, is the major culprit.
The UK's National Health Service reports that sugary drinks alone claim more than 130,000 lives globally every year. And that's before you take into the account the sugar-filled cereals and snacks that find their way into homes right across Australia every single day.
The most shameful part of all of this is that most of those products pretend to be healthy.
Take Nutri-Grain cereal, for example. Marketed as "iron man food", "one of the highest protein cereals" and carrying a four-star health rating, how could you not think you were making a healthy choice for your family?
And yet when you dig a little deeper, you discover that every 100 grams of cereal contains a whopping 26.7 grams of sugar.
That's six teaspoons, which is also our maximum recommended daily intake, according to the World Health Organisation.
And that's just breakfast.
On average, teenage boys in Australia consume 22 teaspoons of sugar every day.
Which is exactly why I launched the Make Healthy Healthy campaign weeks ago.
And I'm thrilled to see organisations such as Choice now getting behind it.
Because I'm sick of dangerous, sugar-laden foods that masquerade as healthy choices flooding our supermarket shelves.
Many of these products are targeted towards our kids, and all are wrapped in packaging so complicated and misleading you'd need a degree in food sciences to work out what's actually in them.
It's time we did something about it. So I'm calling for the introduction of plain-language packaging that, at a glance, tells you exactly what you're buying.
Would that box of cereal look quite so healthy if its maker was forced to put six easy-to-see teaspoons of sugar on the front of the box?
The Make Healthy Healthy campaign is gathering speed, but I need your help.
Since the campaign launched the online petition has received thousands of signatures, but I need thousands more if we're going to force our politicians to make these much-needed changes.
And that's the very next stop for the Make Healthy Healthy campaign.
I'll be taking this petition all the way to the Prime Minister's office and demanding changes to Australia's packaging laws.
I won't stop until food companies and supermarkets are forced to tell us exactly what they're selling us.
Our kids deserve better. And together, we can make a difference.