TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Speaking on a panel of health care experts today in Toronto, Ontario Medical Association President Dr. Doug Weir called on the government and the food service industry to partner with Ontario's doctors in fighting the province's growing obesity epidemic. Specifically, Dr. Weir renewed Ontario's doctors' call for restaurants and school cafeterias to post caloric and sodium content on their menus to equip consumers with the information they need to make healthier choices for themselves and especially for their children.
Ontario's doctors know firsthand about childhood obesity and the negative impact it has on their quality of life. In Ontario, 75 per cent of obese children become obese adults, and there is evidence linking type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, certain types of sleep apnea, and the development of chronic kidney disease later in life to children who are overweight or obese. Overall, the health impacts of overweight and obesity are estimated to cost Ontario $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.
However, Ontario's doctors believe the trend towards increased obesity is one that can be reversed. Menu labelling is an essential first step toward healthy eating, and will greatly help efforts to prevent the increase in obesity rates, by educating consumers about calories, and with efforts to control hypertension associated with excess sodium consumption.
"If you want to manage your weight, you have to watch your calorie intake. Calorie labelling is the only way to get us there. It is essential that people have the information that they need to make healthy food choices for themselves and their kids. Calorie counts and information about high-salt foods will help those trying to avoid obesity and high blood pressure.
We're not telling people to what to eat, but if you're watching your salt or your calories, this information may help you balance your food choices."
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association
- A quarter of children in Ontario are overweight or obese;
- There is evidence linking type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, certain types of sleep apnea and the development of chronic kidney disease later in life to children who are overweight or obese;
- Over 75 percent of obese children become obese adults;
- Overall, the health impacts of overweight and obesity are estimated to cost Ontario $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.
SOURCE: Ontario Medical Association
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