Panel Calls for Leadership to Protect Children from Targeted Marketing

    Policy conference highlights four key recommendations to combat childhood
    obesity epidemic

    OTTAWA, March 5 /CNW Telbec/ - A panel of prominent, independently minded
Canadians ranging from educators, Aboriginal, community and youth leaders,
journalists, public policy researchers, academics and authors, today released
a recommendation for a made in Canada plan to ensure that unhealthy food and
beverages are not marketed to children. The panel based its decision on
presentations by key Canadian and international experts on best available
legal, scientific and social evidence on food marketing to children and its
impact on obesity. The panel examined the evidence both for and against
increased regulation on food marketing to Canadian children.
    "Access to our children is a privilege not a right, and as such should be
subject to stringent regulation," said Avi Lewis, conference panel moderator
on the consensus statement. "We believe the status quo is unacceptable, and
cannot continue. Complexity is not an excuse for inaction."
    The Panel is calling on the governments of Canada to create and enforce a
regulatory regime that ends all marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to
    The consensus statement was delivered as part of the Policy Consensus
Forum on Obesity and the Impact of Marketing on Children hosted by the Chronic
Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC). The conference, funded by the
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research (CIHR) and the Government of British Columbia, was planned in
response to the March 2007 release of the 'Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids'
report by the Standing Committee on Health which stated that childhood obesity
has become an 'epidemic' in Canada.
    "There is significant debate as to whether or not marketing aimed at
children requires additional restrictions and around the role that government
and industry should be playing to restrict marketing," said Paul Lapierre,
CDPAC Steering Committee Chair. "Our goal is to protect the well-being of
Canadian children and the statement announced today, along with the specific
recommendations, will help us make an informed decision as to next steps
around policy requirement and provide healthy options to children."

    The Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC) is a network of
leading health and non-health organizations who share a common vision for an
integrated system of research, surveillance, policies, and programs for
maintaining health and preventing chronic disease in Canada. CDPAC consists of
national, provincial and territorial organizations and alliances representing
hundreds of groups across Canada. CDPAC's mission is to lead and promote
country-wide efforts toward systems changes that will reduce chronic diseases
and improve the health of Canadians.
    CDPAC's role is to advocate for systems change and to facilitate and
support information and knowledge exchange by connecting researchers,
practitioners and policy makers for improved chronic disease prevention in
Canada. CDPAC has hosted two very successful conferences titled Integrated
Chronic Disease Prevention: Getting it Together (held in 2004) and Integrated
Chronic Disease Prevention: Building it Together (held in 2006).

For further information:

For further information: Aurélie Walsh, Blueprint Public Relations,
(613) 237-7400 Ext. 23, cell (613) 797-4259,

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