Introduction -- The Food Pyramid Meets the Regulatory Pyramid: Responsive Regulation of Food Advertising to Children
18 Pages Posted: 2 May 2015 Last revised: 4 May 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
This chapter forms part of a thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of a PhD from the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney.
This chapter describes the rapid rise of childhood obesity in Australia and the many causes of the obesity epidemic. It focuses on the food industry’s contribution to unhealthy eating patterns through the promotion of unhealthy products to children, and describes the research establishing that such advertising influences children’s food preferences and actual consumption habits. Then the chapter describes the development and operation of two industry initiatives that govern food advertising to children in Australia, which are the main topic of this thesis. It discusses evidence that these voluntary codes have failed to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing, and proposes a new approach for assessing their efficacy. This proposal draws upon the theory of Responsive Regulation developed by Australian scholars John Ayres and Ian Braithwaite and involves escalation through progressively more coercive forms of regulation in response to industry’s failure to achieve public policy goals. Finally the chapter outlines the research methodology and key definitions and assumptions underpinning the thesis.
Keywords: Food advertising, childhood obesity, self-regulation, responsive regulation
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation