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

It costs Canada $9B to treat obesity, while barely any money is put into preventative care

The National Post

In Canada obesity-related health care costs are as high as $7 billion and are projected to increase to nearly $9 billion by 2021. But experts say many of these costs are a result of the health care system’s failure to properly treat obesity. Rather than taking a proactive approach, the system is instead set up to treat conditions that develop as a result of the disease which results in more money being spent in the long-run. Read the article here

How sugar dies in Canada — and umami thrives everywhere else

CBC

Overview on restrictions on marketing to children and the rise and fall of Bill S-228 due to extensive industry lobbying and procedural play. Listen to CBC’s Cost of Living Episode 6 here.

 

Weight Coalition finds too many companies are marketing junk food to kids

CTV News Montreal

Food companies in Quebec are exploiting loopholes in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) that prohibit commercial advertising that targets children under 13 years old. Coalition Poids identified 469 food packages targeting children from different businesses. Shop windows, displays and product packaging are not covered by the law. Read OpEd here.