Health advocates push board to crack down on junk food marketing

April 3, 2017

Ottawa Citizen

Health advocates on Monday night lauded the city’s leadership on anti-smoking programs in calling for a clampdown on junk food marketing in Ottawa. Read more…

Childhood obesity: Cut unhealthy food multi-buy offers

March 27, 2017

BBC News

The government must do more to reduce the number of cut-price and multi-buy offers on unhealthy food to help curb childhood obesity, a group of MPs say… The main features of the government’s long-awaited childhood obesity plan, published in October 2016, were a sugar levy and a voluntary target to cut sugar in children’s food and drink by 20% by 2020. Read More…

Children don’t need a daily diet of junk-food ads

March 7, 2017

The Globe and Mail

Andre Picard

Young people today spend a lot of time staring at screens – immersed in video games, websites, social media, even old-fashioned TV – and during that time they are often bombarded with advertising, almost all of it for junk food.

On TV shows aimed at kids, they will see about five ads for sugary and salty treats an hour, and that’s with regulation (or at least self-regulation by industry). Read More…


Celebrity chef and health experts stir up excitement around childhood nutrition

Jamie Oliver and Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition identify areas for immediate action

Toronto – October 7, 2016 – British chef/author Jamie Oliver and members of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition and other experts discussed the need for an action plan to overhaul the nutrition landscape in Canada. Acknowledging that there is no “magic bullet” to improve unhealthy diets the panel identified a range of solutions to support Canadian families to make healthy choices. Strategies include restricting food and beverage marketing to kids, implementing a levy on sugary beverages to fund healthy living initiatives, improved nutrition labeling, ensuring healthy choices in schools and other settings, investing in Indigenous food programs, and better food education.

Jamie Oliver spoke about the enormity of the food business globally and the urgent need for action around childhood nutrition and obesity. He acknowledged Health Minister Jane Philpott’s clear mandate on restricting marketing to kids and expressed his hope that Canada would seize the opportunity to be a global leader around nutrition policy and action. He pointed out that Canada is on the brink of something huge and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement a plan that “can’t be good, it has to be fantastic.”

Panel members included Geoff Craig, Chief Marketing Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation; Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer, Canadian Diabetes Association; Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation, Senator Nancy Greene Raine; and Nathan Sing, youth advocate. The session was moderated by Nick Saul, President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada.


“It is about healthy habits for everyone. Family meals are important, learning how to cook your own meals and cooking that food together. Making sure you get your fruits and vegetables and physical activity, cutting out sugary drinks, and decreasing screen time – which is so important for marketing to kids.”

“This problem has come on so slowly that we don’t realize the health risks attributable to unhealthy diets are the same as with tobacco. We need the exact same strategies – we need regulation.”

  • Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation

“We know that over 90 per cent of food decisions in the household are driven by children. The “nag factor” does not come out of nowhere – it is driven by marketing messages. It is not a fair fight for parents. Winning the battle for harmony often means losing the battle for health.”

“Industry self-regulation is a failure. The standards are lax, participation is voluntary and there is more advertising and marketing targeted to children than ever before.”

  • Geoff Craig, Chief Marketing Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation

“What has changed our choices is our environment. We live in an environment where we are surrounded by low cost, nutrient poor, processed foods and sugary drinks. We are surrounded by the wrong kind of information, we are surrounded by advertising but we don’t get good food information.”

  • Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer, Canadian Diabetes Association

View the panel discussion on the Heart and Stroke Foundation Facebook page at

For more information about the coalition visit including a list of partners and endorsers visit


  • The majority – 90 per cent – of marketed food and beverage products is high in fat, sugar and salt.
  • The Internet is a key venue – 85% of food brands most heavily promoted to children have websites that directly target children or have content that interests them.
  • 70% of Canadian children do not eat the minimum daily recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Sugar-loaded beverages are the single greatest contributor of sugar in our diets – one can contains 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Evidence links excess sugar intake and sugary drinks, with adverse health effects including obesity, heart disease and stroke, diabetes and other metabolic conditions, dental caries, and certain types of cancer.
  • 31% of Canadian children and youth ages 5 to 17 are overweight or obese.
  • Over the past 70 years, consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods in Canada has doubled, from 30% of the average family’s food purchases to 60%.

Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition:

The Stop Marketing to Kids (Stop M2K) Coalition was founded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in collaboration with the Childhood Obesity Foundation in 2014. The Stop M2K Coalition is made up of 11 non-governmental organizations with written endorsement from dozens of additional organizations and individuals. Our goal: to restrict all food and beverage marketing to children and youth 16 years and under.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Lawrence

Heart and Stroke Foundation


Coalition battles to ban all food and drink advertising to kids in Canada

2 August 2016

Metro News-Vancouver

They’re calling junk food the “new tobacco” war… Some of Canada’s largest and most influential health charities — led by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Childhood Obesity Foundation — are girding for a battle they’re comparing to their 1990s campaigns against the cigarette industry. Read more…

Michelle Hauser on childhood obesity: the enemy with a thousand faces

19 July 2016

National Post

Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation and Co-Chair of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, recommends that parents respond to Canada’s increasingly “obesogenic environment” by “cutting through the noise”. Read more…

Study finds junk food ads are leading to heavier kids

McMaster University researchers found that advertisements for junk food increased the amount of unhealthy food and beverage choices that children made. Read more…

Study finds music celebrities who are popular among adolescents endorse unhealthy products

6 June 2016


Study finds that 81 per cent of 26 endorsed foods endorsed by music celebrities like Justin Timberlake and One Direction, were for unhealthy products. Read more…

Toronto looking to ban ‘unhealthy’ food ads aimed at kids

5 April 2016


On April 25, 2016, the board of health voted to seek support from the federal government to ban commercial advertising to children aged 16 and under. The vote follows a report from the city of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, that noted recommendations to protect children 16 and younger from being exposed to unhealthy eating habits. Read more…

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health says “stop unhealthy marketing to children”

29 February 2016

Toronto Public Health Doctor’s Notes

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health believes that the time has come to protect children and to support parents to make healthy decisions for their families. Read more…