Why Should We Stop Marketing Food To Adolescents and Children?

This Makes Canada a Nanny State!

Does it really?
Does blocking advertising that’s meant to target young vulnerable minds into brand loyalty really create a nanny state?
Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation is quoted with the following:

“The fact that we are now counter to the food industry, and media, the bottom line is unfortunate. That creates more opposition to our efforts than ever before.”

“We’ve never stepped up with a policy campaign that’s going to face such entrenched opposition from industry. Tobacco would be the closest parallel.”

The Food Industry Compared to the Tobacco Industry.

Can the federal government push this bill forward without being influenced by the food industry? It’s money, lobbyists and industry infiltration vs. Canadian children. One would guess that the simple answer is, no.

Who Cares?
No … WHO cares.

In May of 2010, The World Health Organization recommended international actions to reduce marketing of food and beverages to children. Earlier this year two dedicated physicians took the time to sit down with me and talk to me about their opinions on health policy and both of them mentioned their dedication to a cause. The cause was THIS cause,

stopping the widespread marketing of food to vulnerable people,

specifically children, and adolescents. Dr. Freedhoff  and Dr. Campbell both told me about their work with a coalition, the goal of the coalition is simple- to allow Canadian children to grow up in an environment free of influence from food and beverage marketing.

Bill S-228

On September 27, 2016, Senator Greene Raine proposed historical legislation that could make a lasting impact on the youth of her country when she committed to the suggestion that the Food and Drug Act (specifically the labelling, packaging and advertising sections) should be amended, moving to make it illegal to direct advertising and marketing toward children across the country.

The nitty-gritty

The proposed act would come into place 1 year after royal assent. Although I support the bill I think this is likely too aggressive of a timeline. Most things tend to take longer than a year to enact and I think dates will likely get pushed. Like the knowingly dangerous microbeads– the goal for elimination from Canada is 2019!

Advertising Standards Canada stated (in 2006 report) that they receive approximately 1,200 complaints from consumers about advertising in a typical year and virtually no complaints from consumers about children’s advertising. In the past four years, ASC did not receive any complaints about broadcast advertising to children and received only one complaint about a child-directed non-broadcast advertisement (the complaint was determined to not raise an issue under the Code). Want to submit an advertising complaint? Click here.

Maybe sometime soon the rest of Canada will follow in the steps of Quebec, in the 1980s! Yes … Quebec proposed this legislation in the 1980s. Some suggest that the legislation in Quebec decreased spending on fast food by 13 per cent per week. It was further estimated that the steep cut in expenses meant a decrease of 11-22 million fast food meals eaten per year or 2.2-4.4 billion fewer calories consumed by kids.

BILLIONS of calories. Literally, BILLIONS.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 12.48.30 AM.png
Advertising to kids gets the boot in Quebec in the 80’s.

 

What can you do?

Go online and sign the petition to let your government know that this is something you’re passionate about.

**Follow this post for updates as the proposed Bill S-228 will be brought for a second reading today, September 29, 2016.**

Visit Stop Marketing To Kids.ca for more information. The full press release from Stop Marketing To Kids can be found here. Learn more about the forward-thinking senator who proposed Bill S-228 (spoiler alert she’s also a gold medal winning olympian).

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