‘Invisible pandemic’: Alberta receives failing grade for nutrition

CTV News Edmonton

The province of Alberta has been given a failing grade on its nutrition report card on food environments for children and youth. Kim Raine, a distinguished professor in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health explained to CTV News the general trend of nutrition-focused public health policies are worsening rather than improving and a D is the lowest grade recorded in the last seven years. “Diet is only the second to tobacco for the number one premature cause of death in Canada,” she said. “Without using some of those strategies that we used in tobacco control… some of those strategies used in COVID-19, then we’re not taking nutrition seriously and it’s time for us to wake up to the fact that we have an invisible pandemic of diet-related chronic diseases.” Read more

Help our post-pandemic health by ending food marketing to children

The Toronto Star

An op-ed from Chantal Peticlerc and other coalition members highlights the importance of restricting food marketing aimed at children, especially in a post-pandemic context. Read more

Would you support a sugar tax?

CBC Radio Maritime Connection 

Following the news that the province of Newfoundland & Labrador was introducing a sugar levy in April 2022, Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition co-chair Dr. Tom Warshawski was interviewed on CBC Radio’s Maritimes Connection program to discuss the benefits of a sugar levy. Listen here

A quick, cost-free way for the federal government to save lives

Doug Roth, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation penned an op-ed that appeared in several papers across Canada. “The packaged food industry has been thriving during the pandemic as we eat more comfort foods, snacks and find pleasure in the little things. Unfortunately, identifying healthy choices and comparing products in the grocery store is not an easy, straightforward task. We need simple nutritional information on the front of packaged foods. It’s one very important way we can help prevent the illness and deaths that come from unhealthy food choices.” Read more

Food Industry Lobbying Intense on Failed Bill to Limit Marketing to Children: U of T Study

The University of Toronto

A study from the University of Toronto found that food industry interactions with the government heavily outnumbered non-industry interactions on Bill S-228 (Child Health Protection Act) which died in the Senate of Canada in 2019. The researchers looked at more than 3,800 interactions and found that over 80 per cent were by industry, compared to public health or not-for-profit organizations. Read more

Vital health commitments on food marketing and labelling must not be left unfinished

The Toronto Star
Stop Marketing to Kids coalition co-chairs Dr. Tom Warshawski and Manuel Arango penned an op-ed urging the federal government to adopt two vital health projects: legislation to restrict food marketing to children, and new labelling regulations mandating clear, simple front-of-package nutrition information on food products. Read the article

Nutrition report card gives Alberta a C grade – again

CBC Edmonton
For the fourth year in a row, Alberta has received a C grade on a report card that evaluates food environments and nutrition policies for young people. The sixth annual report card grades the province’s score across five environments: physical, communication, economic, social and political.  Alberta received A grades in some areas but overall, the report found much room for improvement. The experts gave Alberta an F for failing to reduce household food insecurity and failing to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Read the article 

Throne speech mustn’t neglect crucial Liberal pre-pandemic health commitments

CBC

Doug Roth, CEO of Heart & Stroke, writes that the government cannot simply forget its pre-pandemic health commitments, it has an obligation to address pharmacare, charities, food and vaping regulations.  Read the article here

Confronting obesity in Canada

Canadian Bar Association – National

The outlook for an improved food environment remains bleak as policymakers focus on stamping out COVID-19 and reviving the economy. While the early Trudeau government prioritized these health measures, it has since backed down when faced with industry opposition — and dire warnings about financial consequences. “For sure, COVID has thrown a monkey wrench in the works,” said Tom Warshawski, chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation. Once the COVID fire is manageable, Warshawski added, legislation will get back on track. “They will make good. We can’t afford not to.”  Read the article here.

The scoop on Unilever’s new marketing commitments

Strategy Magazine

Strategy magazine looks at Unilever’s decision to stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below the age of 13 on social media. The article features an interview with Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition co-chair Manuel Arango. Read the article here