Councils, schools and communities are backing an ongoing initiative by Cancer Council Victoria to protect children from advertising that leads to them to make unhealthy food choices.
The online campaign, Food Fight, is calling for the removal of junk food advertising from government-owned assets such as buses, trams and billboards within 500 metres of schools.
In NSW, a similar campaign by Cancer Council NSW, Our Kids, Our Call, is campaigning for the removal of junk food advertisements from school buses.
The petition has reached more than 900 signatures, while Food Fight has 8690 signatures.
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Cancer Council Victoria's executive manager of obesity and alcohol programs Jane Martin said she was concerned children were not growing up in environments that supported their health and wellbeing.
"We did a review and found that children see at least 25 ads for unhealthy food and drink every day," she said.
"It's wallpaper in their lives and they're surrounded by it."
At North Albury's Xavier High School, a variety of food selections are available for recess and lunch, with salad bowls, salad rolls, wraps and a seasonal soup to choose from. Options are available to suit dietary and allergy requirements. Students also have a selection of drinks with no added sugar or preservatives.
"We try our best to provide healthier options for both students and staff at our canteen and cafe," the school said in a statement.
Ms Martin said the government could act when it came to regulating marketing around schools.
"When they (children) leave the school and get on public transport, or walk home, that work (to promote healthy eating) is being undermined by this persuasive marketing for unhealthy food and drinks," she said.
Similar campaigns to challenge junk food advertising are gaining traction in different states and territories, according to Ms Martin.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District health promotion coordinator Brendan Pearson said "you don't have to be Einstein" to know advertising works.
The MLHD health promotion team supports schools and early childhood services such as long day care services, family day care services and preschools.
"The work that we've done with school canteens, particularly over the last three or four years, has an element that focuses on how food is advertised or promoted at a school canteen," he said.
"We also work with teachers and educators ... to incorporate healthy eating, learning experiences in their curriculum."
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