Tackling obesity is the subject of a new report from the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada. All of the Canadian Diabetes Association’s (CDA’s) key recommendations to the Committee in May 2015 have been incorporated into the report’s recommendations to the federal government.
“Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed with diabetes. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and it’s time to turn the conversation from why there’s an obesity epidemic in Canada to what we can do about it,” says Rick Blickstead, President and CEO, CDA. “The CDA believes the recommendations from the Committee are an important step toward reducing obesity, which is critical for the health of Canadians and the sustainability of the health-care system.”
The report’s 21 recommendations include critical action needed to encourage healthier lifestyles, urging the government to:
- Consider a tax on sugar and artificially sweetened drinks;
- Implement taxes to encourage healthy lifestyles; and,
- Ban the advertising of food and beverages to children.
“Canada’s obesity problem cannot be oversimplified to telling people to ‘eat less, move more’,” states Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer, CDA. “We need to promote better food choices and look at clear evidence from policies adopted in other countries, such as taxing sugar-sweetened beverages to help reduce consumption of these unhealthy products that are linked with obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
Recently, the CDA joined other members of the Marketing to Kids Coalition, requesting government to restrict marketing of food and beverages to children and youth 16 and under. “We applaud the Committee’s action to protect children and youth from harmful food and beverage marketing and look forward to supporting federal government action on this report,” says Blickstead.
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).