Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Alcohol marketing impacts children

By Regan Paranihi
  • Auckland
  • Wellington

Innovated camera research from Otago and Auckland universities reveal how every time a New Zealand child enters a supermarket they are exposed to alcohol marketing.

Lead researcher from the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington Tim Chambers says, “Children in the study were exposed to alcohol marketing almost every time they entered a supermarket, often the exposure occurred near everyday products, like bread and milk.”

He says it suggest alcohol is an ordinary product on the shelves and another part of the grocery shop.

The research reports on the Kids’Cam Study that examined the exposure of food and beverage marketing to children.

Chambers says, “The exposure occurred despite a law change to reduce alcohol marketing exposure within supermarkets.”

As a result researchers are calling on the Government to take action by implementing restrictions around the exposure of alcohol marketing in child friendly settings to reduce alcohol-related harm.

“Research has shown exposure to alcohol marketing within supermarkets increases children’s consumption, including starting to drink at earlier ages,” says Chambers.

Alcohol marketing contributes to the global problem of alcohol-related harm. In New Zealand alone there have been 800 deaths caused by alcohol consumption which cost the country $5 billion per year.

However, New Zealand supermarkets should be held accountable for some of the burden of alcohol-related harm, due to their delivery of convenient, low-cost alcohol as well as their market share of alcohol sales.

Researchers believe that if the 2012 Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act that allows supermarket alcohol sales was revoked it would reduce the overall exposure to alcohol marketing along with underage sales, loss-leading alcohol sales and cross promotional activity.