JUNK FOOD and children was one of the most talked about topics of 2011.
Advertising and fast-food chains have played a major role in this trend, making it increasingly hard for parents, carers and even teachers to sweet-talk children away from the sugar.
But one Sunshine Coast children's author may have the answers, as she explains in her new book Superfood Spike and the Fart of Junkfood Jimmy.
Sharon Cooper published the book in October last year as an answer to her teenage daughter's junk food habits, as well as to raise awareness of junk food and its negative effects on the body.
The book is set in a community garden.
It follows the story of Superfood Spike who tries to convince his friend Junkfood Jimmy that junk food is bad for his health.
"The book is written so it's easy to understand and parents to easily explain important health facts," Mrs Cooper said.
"Sometimes tackling the issue of obesity can be challenging for them (children) as well but this book gives kids easy access to a complex problem.
"It speaks their language and allows them to have a bit of fun while they are getting the right healthy food messages."
Mrs Cooper said most children did not understand why junk food was unhealthy because many junk food messages were aimed at adults.
"One in four kids face weight challenges in Australia but none of the messages are reaching them," she said.
"We are really facing an obesity epidemic in this country and everyone appears to be squabbling about who should do what to address it.
"That is why I wrote the book, to make it easier for children and parents to get the message and understand why junk food is a massive issue in society."
The book includes Superfood Spike's healthy recipes and easy-to-learn facts on healthy eating and junk foods' effect on the body.
The book and further information are available at www.childhoodobesityanswers.com.