Popular Posts

Friday, June 7, 2019

Let's Stop Marketing to Kids

We all want children to be healthy and physically fit. So why is one out of 3 children in Canada overweight or obese?

It’s not surprising that the main cause of this crisis is unhealthy eating, and doctors and other health care professionals think junk food advertising aimed directly at kids is a key culprit.

Right now, we’re very close to having a law that can protect children. If the Senate votes in favour of Bill S-228, The Child Health Protection Act, advertising to children 12 and under will be restricted.

But insistent industry lobbying has some senators dragging their feet, and if this bill isn’t approved this month, it will most likely die.

You can help Bill S-228 become law. Take action and tell senators you think it’s important to protect kids’ health. The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition has website resources that make it easy to contact members of the Senate, and you can send an email right now by clicking here.

We have a public health crisis.  Overweight and obese children are at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and 13 different cancers. Without intervention, obese children become obese adults.

And obesity hits all Canadians. Estimates of the economic burden of obesity in Canada range from $4.6 billion to $7.1 billion annually.

Ads are everywhere in the digital age. Companies still use old-fashioned advertising like radio and television to push food that has too much sugar, sodium (salt) and saturated fat to children. But there are many more ways to market junk food. 

Even very small children are exposed to advertising like brands and logos in video games and websites. Each year, the top 10 favourite websites for kids between the ages of 2 and 11 have approximately 25 million food/beverage ads. Most – a whopping 90% - of the food marketed to Canadian children is high in sugar, sodium and fat.

Time is Running Out "The Senate needs to pass Bill S-228 as soon as possible to ensure that regulations are drafted before the next federal election, or we risk forever losing this opportunity to protect our children," says Dr. Tom Warshawski, a pediatrician and Chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation.

The Child Health Protection Act was introduced in the Senate in September 2016. Since then, Bill S-228 has been studied and approved by the Senate and our elected representatives in the House of Commons.

The legislation was passed to the Senate for final approval in the fall of 2018.  Since October, Bill S-228 has been raised on the Senate floor four times, and each time, a different senator has moved that it be adjourned.

Why is this happening? Food and beverage industries, along with retailer and advertising associations, are working hard to make sure Bill S-228 doesn’t become law. Seventy-nine industry representatives have lobbied around Bill S-228, and 233 industry meetings with government officials have been documented.

Advertisers and the food and beverage industry in Canada are worried that restricting advertising to children will reduce profits. Children have “pester power,” and a large influence on how parents buy.

Leaders from the food industry and retail and advertising organizations have written to senators asking them to “withhold their concurrence,” from the bill, so it won’t become law. Some senators are obliging them.

Let’s Put Children’s Health Before Profit. Bill S-228 “is a bill designed to protect kids. To protect kids from consuming at an early age — those kids particularly under 12 — drinks and food that could potentially be harmful to them. We know that this is done in the context of a public health crisis in Canada resulting from the consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats, sugar and salt.” (The Honourable Tony Dean, Senator, supporter of Bill S-228, May 30, 2019.

What Can You Do? The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition has website resources that make it easy to contact senators by phone. It also has a template for letters that you can adapt when you write your own. You can also join in our social media campaign and retweet or share posts! Follow the Heart and Stroke Foundation on Twitter and Facebook, and use #BillS228 and #Marketing2Kids when posting on the issue.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Kids are the future. Let’s take action to make sure it’s a healthy one.

Written by Elaine Cameron

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Indigenous Food Systems Walking Tour

Indigenous Food Systems Walking Tour
Monday, June 246:30pm - 8:00pm
Central Park, Burnaby

Meeting Spot
Central Park Parking Lot - Accessed off Boundary Road between 46th and 47th Avenue
Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day in Burnaby! Join Indigenous Herbalist and Educator Lori Snyder to discover wild foods and medicines in your own backyard!

Free. Please register by emailing burnabyfoodfirst@gmail.com. Rain or shine. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Join us for a community conversation!!

Burnaby Food First (BFF) invites you to join a discussion about community food resources in Burnaby and the gaps/barriers in accessing them. 

Community Asset Mapping
Wednesday, February 20
1:00 – 3:00pm
Burnaby Neighbourhood House South (4460 Beresford Street)

The results will inform BFF’s work to develop a food asset map of Burnaby. Snacks provided! All are welcome. Please register at burnabyfoodfirst@gmail.com.