'Just show some discipline': Hanson and Hinch slam calls for junk food ban

Nutrition experts have called for a nationally coordinated approach to tackle the country's obesity problem and improve the health of Australians.

However One Nation senator Pauline Hanson and Victorian senator Derryn Hinch said the debate was overplayed and the solution to junk food consumption was simple – “just show some discipline”.

“If you bring in a tax on soft drinks, what else do you do it on?” Derryn Hinch told Sunrise.

“For chips and a pie at the footy?… there’d be hell to pay.”

New reviews would consider a complete ban on junk food at schools and sports venues. Source: 7 News

Much like Mexico did in recent years, health experts now want Australia to deliver a national approach on fast food bans. Source: 7 News

One hundred experts from 53 organisations working with state and federal bureaucrats have conducted a landmark study and drawn up the 47-point plan to address the problem.

Senator Hanson agreed with her Victorian counterpart, saying it would be unfair for “fit and healthy people” to face taxes on junk food.

“You have to get back in the educational system, sport events right through school,” Ms Hanson added.

The study found a major barrier to addressing the problem was the huge variation in how states and federal governments implement nutrition policies.

"There is no silver bullet to helping people eat more healthily," Dr Gary Sacks, the leader of the study and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University, said in a statement on Monday.

"We know from international evidence that we need coordination across federal, state and local government to implement a whole suite of different policies to tackle the problem."

The study recommends the development of an overall national strategy and implementation plan for improving the diets of Australians.

That includes taxing junk food, especially sugary drinks, to make them more expensive and reducing advertising and marketing of those products to children.

"Often good policies exist, but they are not being implemented in a coordinated way," Dr Sacks said.

Childhood obesity in Australia continues to worsen despite continued calls for a healthier menu at schools. Source: 7 News

Junk food could also be banned from schools and sports venues, but reducing children's exposure to junk food was also important, Dr Sacks said.

"It's a good start to have policies for restricting junk foods in school canteens, if kids are then inundated with unhealthy foods at sports venues, and they see relentless junk food ads on prime-time TV, it doesn't make it easy for them to eat well."

Today's top news stories - February 20