A great OpEd by Dr. Yoni Freedoff, highlighting the important role that cities and schools have in improving our food landscape and health trajectories.
“…And while a great deal has changed over the course of the past 50 years, one of the most dramatic changes has been to food culture. There doesn’t seem to be an occasion too small to not warrant the use of junk food to reward, pacify or entertain, and is there a cause nowadays that isn’t encouraging an already overindulgent nation to purchase more junk food to fund children’s hospitals, schools, sports teams, kids’ clubs and more?
Though changing social norms is not likely to be quick or easy, leadership needs to come from beyond the grassroots if we’re going to see new healthy norms grow. Cities are in a unique position to play an important role.
Because it’s not enough to simply tell people to make healthier choices. Though I’ve seen signs stationed beside my local sporting arena’s vending machines encouraging potential customers to make low- or no-calorie choices, will a well-intentioned sign outweigh the fact that at the Walter Baker Centre (for instance), there are nine vending machines, 37 quarter candy slots, and a canteen that offers almost exclusively no-name fast food options? If education alone were sufficient to permanently change behaviour, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.”
Retweet Heart & Stroke: Some good food for thought from @YoniFreedhoff: cities are in a unique position to improve our food environment by removing the sale of junk food at city-run facilities including arenas, libraries and schools #Marketing2Kids