TORONTO - British chef/author Jamie Oliver and members of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition and other experts discussed the need for an action plan to overhaul the nutrition landscape in Canada. Acknowledging that there is no "magic bullet" to improve unhealthy diets the panel identified a range of solutions to support Canadian families to make healthy choices.
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"It is about healthy habits for everyone. Family meals are important, learning how to cook your own meals and cooking that food together. Making sure you get your fruits and vegetables and physical activity, cutting out sugary drinks, and decreasing screen time – which is so important for marketing to kids, " said Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation.
Strategies include restricting food and beverage marketing to kids, implementing a levy on sugary beverages to fund healthy living initiatives, improved nutrition labeling, ensuring healthy choices in schools and other settings, investing in Indigenous food programs, and better food education.
"Industry self-regulation is a failure. The standards are lax, participation is voluntary and there is more advertising and marketing targeted to children than ever before," said Geoff Craig, Chief Marketing Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Jamie Oliver spoke about the enormity of the food business globally and the urgent need for action around childhood nutrition and obesity. He acknowledged Health Minister Jane Philpott's clear mandate on restricting marketing to kids and expressed his hope that Canada would seize the opportunity to be a global leader around nutrition policy and action.
He pointed out that Canada is on the brink of something huge and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement a plan that "can't be good, it has to be fantastic."
Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition:
The Stop Marketing to Kids (Stop M2K) Coalition was founded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in collaboration with the Childhood Obesity Foundation in 2014. The Stop M2K Coalition is made up of 11 non-governmental organizations with written endorsement from dozens of additional organizations and individuals. Our goal: to restrict all food and beverage marketing to children and youth 16 years and under.
For more information about the coalition visit including a list of partners and endorsers visit www.stopmarketingtokids.ca
Source Heart and Stroke Foundation
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