I can’t make this any more succinct or clear.
Our federal government is proposing a ban on marketing all unhealthy foods to children 17 and under. This isn’t just advertising as per the ban in Quebec, it’s all marketing, including sponsorships.
Here is what they consider unhealthy:
“That would then cut out all of the things like, of course, your regular soda, most cookies, cakes, pies, puddings, ice cream, most cheeses because they are high in fat, they’re high in salt,” Hasan Hutchinson, director general at Health Canada, who is overseeing the consultations.
Health Canada would also target foods such as sugar-sweetened yogurt, frozen waffles, fruit juice, granola bars and potato chips, according to Susan Lunn, CBC News.
So goodbye Timbits sponsorship. Say au revoir to granola bars on the sideline. Don’t dare feed a hungry athlete some sugar so they can compete energetically. No yogurt at your Scout jamboree. No fruit juice at your daycare. Say goodbye to ice cream in the park or apple pie at the piano recital.
Banned. All banned.
Leading the charge is Senator Nancy Greene Raine, who didn’t have a problem with a longstanding Mars bar sponsorship when she was a competitor. It used to be one of my favourite Canadian partnerships of all time. Used to be….
By my estimate, we are talking about $500 million to $1 billion a year of corporate support. It could be more, it’s difficult to measure.
The current wave of public consultation ends July 25th. It almost feels sneaky. You need to respond immediately and spread the word. Every NSO, PSO, CSO, Charity, Youth Group in Canada needs to know about this. Let your parents and volunteers know that the government is excited to ensure your child’s fees go up and up and up for years to come.
Then in fifteen years when we are all dying due to malnutrition, we can greet the return of more appropriate solutions from our hospital beds.
In all seriousness, I understand the need to ensure we have a healthy society. Over indulgence is a problem, but it goes beyond teens and children.
Let’s start with affordable access to healthy foods. Let’s look at socioeconomic factors. Let’s look at busy lives, time, and convenience. Let’s look at lack of physical education and free play time in schools. Let’s look at community parks that aren’t properly maintained or secured. Let’s look at the lack of street closures for sporting events. Let’s look at the lack of bike lanes, bike signals, etc.
There are many factors in the equation. Many experts who know much more than I do. Let’s engage them, you, and others to dig into this issue.