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Obesity costing Western Australia $340 million per year

News. com. au 
Obesity is costing Western Australia’s health system close to $340 million a year, with experts renewing calls for a ban on junk food advertising. A report by WA’s Department of Health finds that health conditions related to excess body mass were responsible for 9.3 per cent of all hospitalizations in 2016. The report projects that by 2026, such hospitalizations will have risen by 54 per cent – and the costs to the health system increased to $610 million – unless the problem is addressed.  Read the article here

Covid-19 school closings may spur childhood obesity, experts warn

The Washington Post 

Childhood obesity experts are worrying that children — who often gain weight during the summer when they’re home — will add even more pounds, escalating an already serious public health problem. “Weight gained each summer accumulates year after year since children don’t usually lose it when they return to school,” says Andrew Rundle, who heads the childhood obesity research project within the Columbia (University) Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Read the article here

COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate childhood obesity

Science Daily 
Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out-of-school time this year for many children in the U.S. and will exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess. Read the article here

Lidl to ditch cartoons on cereals

BBC News

Lidl, a popular UK grocery store chain, has announced plans to remove cartoon characters from all its own-brand cereal packaging in the UK by spring 2020.  Lidl says the move will encourage healthier choices and help parents tackle ‘pester power’ from their children. Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association – welcomed what it called a “responsible approach”.

Read more here

 

Why one campaigning group is ‘building a movement’ against junk food ads

Marketing Week

Bite Back 2030 has been set up as an “unstoppable movement” of young people in the UK.  Backed by chef Jamie Oliver, the aim is to halve childhood obesity in the UK by 2030. 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.

 

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Latin America’s war on obesity could be a model for U.S.

The Washington Post 

Latin American countries have introduced a number of measures to tackle increased consumption of sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States.

“One country and one strategy at a time, the region has pushed back against sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States. Infectious diseases are still the leading causes of death in developing countries, but as economies grow, Western lifestyle factors such as smoking, high-fat diet, obesity and lack of exercise are emerging public health problems.”

Read article here.

Munter: We are letting our kids eat themselves sick

Ottawa Citizen

Alex Munter, president and CEO of CHEO, the national capital’s pediatric health centre wrote an op-ed highlighting the link between obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and the need to stop bombarding children with ads for food and beverages high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Read full OpEd here.
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How Senate can work across party lines to stop the marketing of junk food to children

The Province

A great article by Dr. Tom Warshawski (Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation) and Yves Savoie (CEO, Heart and Stroke) highlighting the bipartisan journey of Bill S-228, Senate’s delay and what’s at stake. (originally published in the Hill Times on 16 April 2019).
Excerpt: “The Senate has the choice of either protecting the health of our children by passing Bill S-228 in a timely manner or protecting the interests of the industry food lobby by continuing to delay its passage… The bill is a perfect example of how a non-partisan Senate can use its plentiful resources to study a problem, propose solutions and then introduce strong legislation that supports the government’s mandate. This is the Senate at its best”. Read full OpEd here

Simple way to inoculate teens against junk food advertising

Science Daily

Researchers find diets improve when tapping adolescents’ desire to rebel; teenage boys cut back junk food purchases by 31 percent. Read here