Heart & Stroke welcomes the recent announcement by Health Canada to launch two public consultations as part of its Healthy Eating Strategy. These consultations will allow Canadians to have input around two public policy areas that can significantly support them to be able to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.
The public is being invited for the first time to comment on a proposed approach to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth. This is a good step towards fulfilling the government’s commitment to enacting this much needed legislation and protecting the youngest members of our society. Our children and youth are bombarded with ads for unhealthy, highly processed foods and beverages all day, every day; in fact 90% of products marketed to kids and teens on TV and online are high in salt, fat or sugar.
“Heart & Stroke is committed to giving kids the best start for a long and healthy life,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “We know that marketing greatly influences their food choices and preferences and one of the most effective ways to protect them and to support their parents is to restrict food and beverage marketing to our children and youth.”
The new round of public consultations on the Food Guide is also encouraging. This influential document provides guidance for both individuals and families, and sets the menu in many places, including school lunch programs. Heart & Stroke is looking forward to these revisions including removing juice from the fruit and vegetable category.
“The Food Guide is an important and much used resource. Updating it and making it more digestible will have a real impact on improving the health of all Canadians,” says Yves Savoie.
The Healthy Eating Strategy is a component of the Vision for a Healthy Canada.
Heart & Stroke also encourages the government to continue moving forward on strengthening nutrition labelling requirements for food and beverages. One significant change that could be made in this area would be to require information on the front of packages where it would be most visible. In particular warning labels for items high in sugar, saturated fat or salt would provide quick and easy guidance and steer consumers away from unhealthy choices.
Supporting the strategy
Heart & Stroke CEO Yves Savoie joined seven other leaders in signing this letter to the minister of agriculture and agri-food, urging him to support the Healthy Eating Strategy.
About Heart & Stroke
Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.
Senior Manager, Communications
Heart & Stroke
613.691.4022 or 613.290.4236