Defining unhealthy food for regulating marketing to children—What are Australia's options?

Publication Name

Nutrition and Dietetics


Aim: To compare six nutrient profiling models for suitability in food marketing to children regulation. Methods: Products (n = 220) advertised at transport hubs were classified as eligible/ineligible to be advertised to children using an Australian government developed guide (Council of Australian Governments), the Health Star Rating system before and after the modifications made in 2020, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region and Europe nutrient profile criterion and the NOVA food classification system. Agreement between models was determined using Cohen's Kappa. Results: The Council of Australian Governments' guide was able to classify more products than the other models (n = 210) and was easy to use as it did not require nutrition information. It agreed most closely with NOVA (moderate agreement). The proportion of foods classified as eligible to be marketed (most strict) was lowest for NOVA (10%), similar for Council of Australian Governments and the World Health Organisation models (16%-17%) and highest for Health Star Rating models (26%-28%). Conclusions: The Council of Australian Governments' guide provides simple, easy to use profiling criteria aligned with Australian dietary advice. Political will is now required to incorporate a profiling model within government-endorsed food marketing regulation.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Cancer Council NSW



Link to publisher version (DOI)