As a proud member of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, Diabetes Canada commends Health Canada for considering the restriction of marketing unhealthy food and beverages to kids.
Why should Canadians pay attention to a new consultation invitation from Health Canada? Diabetes Canada is deeply concerned about rising childhood obesity rates that have almost tripled in the last 30 years. These high rates have contributed to the development of type 2 diabetes in children; a disease previously associated only with adults.
Eating habits and physical activity levels for children and youth are influenced by many factors. However, we can’t ignore the evidence that shows that food marketing specifically targets children and plays an important and damaging role.
Sophisticated marketing campaigns placed on television, online media, and in schools and recreation centres mean that most children are exposed daily or even hourly in places they live, learn, eat and play. And kids that see ads for unhealthy foods and beverages are more likely to consume them when given the chance.
Our children and youth are on an unhealthy trajectory for their future. Overweight and obese children are more likely to become overweight and obese adults. And these children face a far bleaker outlook than adults living with type 2 diabetes because they live with it for longer.
Let’s do everything we can to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our kids by limiting marketing to them. Have your say by giving Health Canada your input into their free, online public consultation.