Adults make better decisions on diet, so dairies close to schools need to be banned

That’s the gist of the argument put forward by the Morgan Foundation:

The Morgan Foundation, started by Gareth Morgan and his family, has made the call in a submission to the Advertising Standards Authority, which is reviewing its code for advertising to children.

Many other submitters are also worried about children being targeted in or around their school environment.

A study released on Wednesday showed schools were surrounded by take-away and convenience stores.

Many of them were decked out in the colours and logos of ice-cream or soft drink brands.

Morgan Foundation general manager Geoff Simmons said that sort of branding should not be near primary schools, nor should billboards advertising junk food.

It was time for the advertising code to be broadened to reflect the way children are bombarded with marketing from many sources, he said.

“In the past we have tended to take a very narrow view of what constitutes junk food marketing to children.

“When we look at the sort of marketing that children actually see it is much broader than the narrow definition of advertising.”

The Morgan Foundation is one of many who have made submissions to the Advertising Standards Authority calling for tougher restrictions.

New Zealand Medical Association is also concerned about marketing connected to schools.

Its chair, Stephen Child, said marketing was a big part of the obesity problem and changes needed to be made to protect children.

Children are vulnerable and can’t make the same informed choices as adults, he said.

Clearly Stephen Child hasn’t picked up on the fact that New Zealand is one of the top three most obese countries in the world.

Across the OECD, 18% of the adult population are obese. More than one in three adults in Mexico, New Zealand and the United States, and more than one in four in Australia, Canada, Chile and Hungary are obese. In contrast, rates are just 2 to 4% of adults in Asian countries.  – OECD report

How he can maintain that New Zealand adults can be trusted to make better decisions is beyond me.

In the meantime, whatever shops exist within 300m of schools are going to get done over for no other reason than proximity.

“You know critics will argue ‘what about 301 metres away from the school’ or ‘what about the advertising they’ve already received on television and in magazines and so on that they are exposed to’, and I understand those arguments.

“But what I think the Morgan Foundation is suggesting is that we at least move in a positive direction towards what we are trying to achieve.”

Never mind that it won’t solve the problem.  And even though it will ruin certain businesses, livelihoods and lives for no other reason than where they are located, at least society is doing something.  Right?




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  • andrewo

    When regulating the buying and selling of things, the first things to be bought and sold are the regulators.

    P. J. O’Rourke

  • jaundiced

    If adults can make better decisions then they need to apply that ability to their parenting. Don’t blame the dairies for their kids choices..

  • XCIA

    I would not trust Morgan to walk my dog, so I can only imagine the caliber of people he has surrounded himself with.

  • Isherman

    Sorry, but as far back as my school life started in 1979, there were always dairy’s and shops not too far from schools, we all bought chippies and a coke or a pie, or lollies on the way home from school, or at least got home and then had a milo and handful of buscuits, but our lifestyles were a bit more active. We’d tuck into something and then head outside and muck around with our friends basically until dinner time, we didn’t spend the rest of the afternoon and evening sitting in front of a playstation or PC. We watched cartoons for a bit perhaps, but it wasn’t as sedentary as many kids now seem to be. Surely, simple facts like this could be at least part of the issue with higher numbers of overweight or obese kids now?

    • KatB

      Two dairies near schools in our town have closed, so surely the obesity rate should be going down. Also in my day we didn’t have unlimited funds to spend at dairies and tuck shops. With all this poverty around these days, you’d have to wonder where the kids get enough money to pay these nasty dairy owners to make the kids fat.

      • Isherman

        Yep, and to be fair, a more balance lifestyle in terms of a decent amount of exercise is only one part. I would accept kids eat more takeaways and junk than used to be the norm as well, I recall it was usually once a week at best…fish & chips on a Friday for example, but the rest of the week was proper food, meat and three veg type stuff, and it didn’t have to be fancy. It’s a personal and more importantly a parental responsibility issue full stop, and no amount of sugar taxes or dairy gestapo regimes will change the outcomes if people are not a bit more honest about many of the root causes.

  • edenman

    When I went to secondary school (OBHS), back in the 50’s, we had a privately owned tuck shop over the road from the school. Flo Robertson served up pies and pasties and everyone’s favourite drink, cider. Yes cider. Ate many pasties and drank many ciders along with most of my school mates. There wasn’t the obesity then as most of us walked and cycled to school and were active in sport.

    • geoff

      Exactly- the school I went to (Auk Grammar) with very exceptions wouldn’t allow kids to drive a car to school.

      • RealKiwi

        I went to NPBHS and they tried to control those of us with motorcycles and cars which didn’t work as it was pointed out that we worked jobs in the holidays and after hours to buy our vehicles so piss off!
        But that’s the point, we knew the reward of hard physical work was ours not to be interfered with!

    • Wheninrome

      Cream donuts with a blob of raspberry jam icing sugar all over them, what a treat. Standard school tuck shop fare back in the day. Neopolitans (I think they were called) pastry with icing and cream filling wow.
      Maybe we should forget all these so called diet foods of today and go back to the food of the fifties, I am not obese, I was very skinny as a child, now am a size 12. mid 60s. I must have missed out on something I should at least be a size16 – 20. Then I could use the phrase of the times “its her glands poor thing she can’t help it”.

      • dennis

        I remember those cream donuts. They were my favourite. If you have a look at your school photos there were no fat kids, maybe one that was plump but not fat.

  • Somnambulist

    It’s clear from the recollections of older citizens that it’s not the food that kids are eating that’s the problem rather than their inactive lifestyle.

    So how about an obesity tax on video games and the whole range of electronic devices that keep kids indoors? And how about a ban on mums dropping kids within 500m of the school gates?

    Because taxes and proximity bans work, don’t they?

  • hookerphil

    So the dairy on Avonhead Road, Christchurch that opened in 1960 at basically the same time as the Avonhead Primary School on the other side of the road has to close. I suspect the new Henry’s Liquor Store that has been allowed to open at the end of that road (opposite a pre school) by well meaning adults that is well within the magical 300 metres can carry on.

  • metalnwood

    Parents not kids. I can only speak for my own but they wouldn’t buy coke if they hadn’t asked me and secondly, where do they get the money from at primary school age? Why are parents giving them such large amounts of money where it gets to the point that the children are compromising their own health?

    Anyhow kids are not dumb, take away the sign and they still know coke is sold at the dairy.

  • Bombastic

    Well then, by Child’s flawed logic, children who live near diaries must be really fat, given they likely spend more hours at home than at school. This sort of nonsense really does my head in.

  • Crowgirl

    We had a school tuck shop full of cakes and pies, ice blocks, lollies etc and a dairy and takeaway down the road from the school, where we would skive off for hot chips, bubble gum and other assorted goodies. We were not fat, because we did not have this type of food all the time, we certainly didn’t get it at home and we walked/biked to and/or from school for the most part.

    The problem is not the food, it’s how much and how often you’re eating junk food compared to quality home-cooked meals. These days kids are eating junk too often, and the blame for that lies squarely at home.

    • XCIA

      In my school tuck shop, we could buy penny bags of a black seaweed they called “dulse”. Mind you, everything else was on offer too, but I do recall the bottles of soft drink were a lot smaller than the current offerings.

  • Dave

    Lets roll back time a little. Central Normal School School, Palmerston north mid 1960’s. A fish and chip shop and a diary selling soft drink and lollies plus cakes and slices right over the road. Two days a week we were allowed to get a School lunch, and occasionally I had a few coins for a small bag of lollies on the way home from school. However, eating lunch only lasted for the first 15 to 20 minutes. For the remainder of the time we RAN around, played cricket, Bullrush etc, and after school, i played outside unless it was pouring. Despite all the bad food, i was a thin child, not one ounce of fat, as were most of my classmates.

    Today’s children don’t need the diet controlled much, but, putting down the play station, or digital device and getting out for a bit more physical activity might burn off all those calories, and build fitness. its not rocket science.

    • Old Dig

      Small world, I also went to Central Normal School but in the 80’s. Being able to order fish and chips in the morning and then having them delivered at lunchtime was great. You’re right, kids ate lots of lollies and chips but would burn it all off running around, climbing trees, and (gasp) playing war. I don’t recall seeing any obese kids around.

    • Aucky

      And to top off all that junk food mum used to give us a brown paper bag or a lunchbox with white bread and butter sandwiches filled with yesterdays lamb leftovers, cake and an apple. But we burned it all off playing footy and bullrush and a walk to and from school. As for food allergies……..what the hell were they?

  • -D

    On Twitter today. Dairy-free zones are everywhere…

  • taxpayer

    At primary school in the early 80’s we could order fish and chips every Friday morning, which would then be delivered to the school at lunch time, there were very few fatties in the school and obesity was a word I had never heard.
    How times have changed.
    I can’t believe people are getting paid to go about counting dairy’s.
    What a pointless stupid waste of time and money, the effect on obesity will be zero.
    My interest in any sociology research and reports coming out of some time wasting troughers at a university, zero.
    The answers are always the same no matter what is being researched, It’s TAX and BAN and TAX and BAN and listen to us because we know it all, and what we don’t know we can soon make up from lies, dammed lies and our statistics.

  • Oh Please

    So now the looney left are trying to alienate dairy owners as well? At least they are consistent and try to dispose of anyone making an honest living.
    But if fatties are travelling 800m to a pie shop, at least they are getting some exercise…

  • Mountie

    Shutting shops within 300 meters of a school could be a problem in Tauranga as the Girls High School is neighbours with Gate Pa Shopping center which has many food outlets and a supermarket.

    • Aucky

      …..and Royal Oak Primary School is slap bang next to a shopping mall with umpteen food outlets. It must be the same all over the country. They spend years and years at uni getting useless degrees but haven’t got a practical bone in their bodies.

  • old school

    Lets put the problem where it belongs. With the lazy parents. If the children don’t have money they can’t buy pies. I am sick of totally amateur do-gooders restricting my life choices because of a number of ignorant lazy parents.