Heart and Stroke Foundation applauds Health Canada for recognizing the link between sugary drinks and childhood obesity

OTTAWA, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada today commended the federal government's awareness campaign which informs Canadians, among other things, about the link between over consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and childhood obesity.

"Health Canada and Minister Aglukkaq hit the mark with their recently launched Children's Health and Safety Campaign," says Bobbe Wood, Chief Executive Officer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.  "Canadians need to know the facts in order to make informed decisions on their health and the health of their children."

"Sugary drinks have no nutritional or health benefits - only health risks," adds Wood.

Strong evidence supports the association between the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and the development of childhood obesity.  Among the general population, consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with obesity, as well as associated risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

Research shows that each additional serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage increases the risk of obesity in middle-school students by 60 percent.1

The average Canadian consumes a whopping 73 litres of soft drinks annually.2

"All lines of evidence consistently support the conclusion that the consumption of sugary drinks, including soda pop, has contributed to the obesity epidemic," says Wood.

The Foundation continues to work with government and industry to create and support healthy eating choices and health promoting environments for Canadians. It does this in many ways, including through Health Check, the Foundation's food information program, public awareness and the funding of research to improve healthy eating, and through the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. (heartandstroke.ca)

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i Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective observational analysis. Lancet. 2001 Feb 17;357:505-8.
ii Statistics Canada. Canada Food Stats Highlights.  2009.


SOURCE HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA

For further information:

Media inquiries:
Eileen Melnick McCarthy
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
613.569.4361 ext. 318
emelnick@hsf.ca

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