WA sport should be junk free!


The LiveLighter campaign has teamed with over a dozen of the nation's most respected health organisations to encourage WA sports clubs to dump their junk food sponsors.

"Our athletes aren't fuelled by junk food, and the spectators shouldn't be either. Junk food advertising and promotion does not belong at any level of sport," said Maurice Swanson, CEO of the Heart Foundation (WA Division).

McDonald's and Coca-Cola are listed as Worldwide Olympic Partners, with Cadbury an official supporter of this year's London Olympic Games.

Last month, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, was quoted as saying there was a "question mark" over their sponsorship due to concerns about rising levels of obesity around the globe.

"While we'd like to see the International Olympic Committee reconsider these relationships, the issue is just as relevant here in WA. This needs to change," Mr Swanson continued.

This year, the Western Force signed a partnership deal with McDonald's. The "golden arches" now adorn the team's playing shorts with thousands of $50 McDonald's vouchers distributed to rugby fans.

Dr Rosanna Capolingua, Chair of Healthway said "associating sport with junk food can make kids think junk food is less unhealthy."

"The Olympics, and WA sports clubs, should be setting a positive example," she added.

A long list of WA sports have worked with Healthway to get rid of their unhealthy sponsors, but unfortunately some continue to make decisions that undermine public health.

Several sports clubs are allowing their sponsors to directly market their unhealthy products to children, while participating in an otherwise healthy activity. McDonald's and Cadbury are listed as proud sponsors of Little Athletics and AFL 9s respectively. AFL 9s is a form of the game actively promoted as an "after school" activity.

"Promoting junk food in sport simply makes no sense. Sport should be about fun, fitness and health – it shouldn't be about pushing high-fat, high-sugar products," added Terry Slevin, Director of Education and Research at The Cancer Council of Western Australia.

A full page advertisement will run in The West Australian on Saturday 4 August, asking Western Australians to have their say on the LiveLighter website.

Corrina Langelaan, Campaigns Manager of advocacy group The Parents' Jury, urges parents in particular to use their voice.

"Our members want their kids to be healthy and active, but they're sick of having their positive messages undermined by this kind of marketing. The Parents' Jury encourages all parents to talk about this important issue. The more of us who call for change, the louder our voices become."

To have your say, visit www.livelighter.com.au/JunkFreeSport


For more information, please contact:
LiveLighter Media and Communications Manager
T: (08) 9382 5913
E: media@livelighter.com.au