VANCOUVER, Dec. 3, 2018 /CNW/ - The Canadian Senate has before it the opportunity to pass Bill S-228, landmark legislation to protect our children from being persuaded to consume unhealthy food and beverages. Unfortunately, the process is being stalled by lobbying from the food industry, who continue to place their bottom line ahead of our children's waist line. We urge our Senators to stand firm and protect the health of our children by passing this bill before their holiday recess.
Over 30% of Canadian children are overweight or obese, placing them at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and 13 different cancers. The current obesity epidemic in children is primarily due to unhealthy diets and one of the factors driving consumption of these foods is marketing.
Food advertising works and 90% of the food marketed to Canadian children is unhealthy. It is evident that industry self-regulation is a failure and that's why over 80% of Canadians want to see restrictions placed on the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages.
In 2016, after careful study, the Senate passed Bill S-228 to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy food and drink. The bill was then passed by the House of Commons in 2018 and sent back to the Senate for final approval.
Senators are being misled by opponents of Bill S-228 who question the rationale behind the bill, assert the process is rushed and incorrectly suggest that the bill will negatively impact children's sports.
"Bill S-228 is evidence based and consistent with the World Health Organization's recommendations to combat childhood obesity," says Dr. Tom Warshawski, pediatrician and Chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation. "The bill has been almost 3 years in study and government has clearly stated that kids' community sports sponsorships will be exempted."
"The Senate needs to pass Bill S-228 as soon as possible to ensure that regulations are drafted before the next Federal election or we risk forever losing this opportunity to protect our children," says Warshawski. "Industry profits should not take priority over children's health."
About the Childhood Obesity Foundation
The mission of the Childhood Obesity Foundation is to lead a societal shift toward healthy eating and active lifestyles to promote childhood healthy weights and the resulting physical and emotional benefits. childhoodobesityfoundation.ca
SOURCE Childhood Obesity Foundation
For further information: For interviews with Dr. Warshawski, contact: Childhood Obesity Foundation - 604-251-2229, [email protected]