Product packaging is a powerful form of marketing. Some food companies advertise their products as healthy, when in fact, they are not. Many Canadians find nutrition labels difficult to understand, and they want fast information to help make healthy food choices when they are shopping. Food companies market their products as ‘healthy’ by highlighting one or more positive attributes on a product package, such as ‘high in fibre’, or “fat-free”. However the same product may also be high in sugar, sodium, and/or saturated fat.
To further complicate things, in recent years, numerous front-of-pack “nutrition symbols” or food rating systems have also surfaced. This makes it even more confusing for parents and children.
Thankfully, Health Canada is considering new measures to strengthen food package labelling and claims. In particular, Health Canada is proposing to require food companies to show highly-visible, simple, intuitive warning labels for foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
The Stop M2K Coalition (representing twelve non-government organizations) urges you to support the introduction of robust Front-of-Package (FoP) nutrition labelling, as a part of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy. This comprehensive and integrated public health strategy has the potential to significantly improve the nutritional health of Canadians.
“It could be another 30 years before we get this kind of opportunity again,” says Heart & Stroke’s Director of Health Policy and Advocacy, Manuel Arango. It’s time to act now and give kids a better chance at reaching their full potential.
Sign a letter urging the federal government to introduce robust front-of-pack nutrition labelling.
By Miranda McLellan-Granger, National Coordinator for the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition