Posts

Consumption of ultra-processed foods in Canada

Statistics Canada 
A new Statistics Canada study found that the overall dietary share of ultra-processed foods remains high among Canadians, accounting for more than half of the daily energy intake among children and teenagers in 2015 (the most recent year for which data was available). However, dietary energy contributions of soft drinks, fruit juices and fruit drinks declined between 2004 and 2015, particularly among children and adolescents. Read the study

Sugar reduction reformulation progress: 77% of Canadian food and beverage products saw no changes in sugar levels over 4-year period

Food Navigator 

Using the University of Toronto’s Food Label Information Program database, researchers analyzed products from 2013 to 2017 and found most (76.6%) did not undergo changes in sugar levels, 12.4% had a decrease in total sugar and 11% had an increase in total sugar contents. You  can read the article here

Mexico’s new warning labels on junk food meet supersized opposition from U.S., EU

Chronicle Herald 
The United States, European Union, Canada and Switzerland, home to some of the world’s biggest food companies, have pressed Mexico to delay upcoming health warnings on processed food and drinks, a World Trade Organization document showed. The Mexican standard, scheduled to take effect in October, will require front-of-pack nutrition labelling that clearly describes the health risks posed when those products are high in sugars, calories, salt, and saturated or trans fat. Read the article here

Taxing sugar levels in soda could prevent 2 million US cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, study says

CNN

Taxes on sugary drinks, a new study has revealed, can lead to major health gains and reductions in health care costs — but just how much of a benefit they provide can vary by the design of the tax. Read the article here

Obesity researchers say Coke and Pepsi should stop targeting communities of color with ads

Fast Company 

Black children and teens see more than twice as many sugary drink ads (256 and 331 ads per year) as their white counterparts, according to a new report by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Sugary drinks are also heavily advertised on Spanish-language TV, particularly Coke and Gatorade; Powerade devotes a third of its TV ad dollars to Spanish-language TV. (Only 13% of Americans speak Spanish at home.) You can read the article here

You can read the study here

Avoiding sodas may be good for your heart, new research suggests

Washington Post 
According to a study published in February in the Journal of the American Heart Association, avoiding soda may have a positive effect on heart health. Researchers from Tufts and Boston universities looked at over 12 years’ worth of data from about 6,000 adult participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term, ongoing research project focused on cardiovascular health. People who had more than one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages each day over the past four years had lower HDL cholesterol and higher triglycerides – levels that may signify an increased risk of heart disease.  Read the article here

Seattle Turns Soda Tax Revenue into Emergency Grocery Vouchers During Pandemic

Next City

Seattle is using its soda tax fund to provide emergency $800 grocery vouchers for 6,250 families. Sent in two installments, the first round of vouchers that can be put toward groceries have already been mailed. The second round will be mailed in April. Read the story here

Combatting a sweet tooth: the role of health marketing

Biomedical Central

A recent study published in BMC Public Health aimed to determine whether Public Health England’s Sugar Smart campaign was effective in altering dietary behaviour, by assessing any impact of the campaign on sugar intake among children aged 5-11 years. Overall it was found that the health marketing campaign raised awareness of sugar in food and drinks in both parents and children, impacting food consumption in families.  Read the article here

“Sugar Tax” being Applauded by Health Advocate Groups in BC

Radio NL

Dr. Tom Warshawski is praising the BC government’s decision to add the “sugar tax” to soft drinks, but believes more could be done. “I think taxes on sugary products are important, but it should be an excise tax that only the federal government can do. But, these types of discussions are really important because there’s a lot of marketing around drinking sugary drinks, in favour of it and kids are bombarded by it.” Read the article here

See also The Globe and Mail (subscriber paywall)|  Doctor says B.C.’s tax on sugary drinks will help kids lose weight, improve health 

B.C. Budget 2020: High-income earners, pop drinkers to pay more taxes

Vancouver Sun

The government will end a Provincial Sales Tax exemption on sugary drinks, such as pop, starting July 1. Adding the seven-per-cent PST to such beverages will generate more than $30 million annually. “I think it’s interesting if you take a look at the largest consumption of pop, sweetened drinks, it is 14 to 18 year olds,” said Finance Minister Carole James. “We want to make sure we’re doing our part to set them on the stage of having a healthy life ahead.” Read more.