September 29, 2016 - 1:10 PM
KAMLOOPS - Conservative Sen. Nancy Greene Raine wants to see an end to "manipulative" marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to help cut down childhood obesity in Canada.
Greene Raine, a former Olympic skier and Sun Peaks Resort developer, has introduced a bill in the senate to amend the Food and Drugs Act.
The B.C. senator's bill, called the Child Health Protection Act, would prohibit the marketing of food and beverages to children under 13 years of age.
Greene Raine says in a media release she hopes a ban on marketing to kids would help put an end to the "serious national problem" of childhood obesity.
“Everyone understands how impressionable children are," Greene Raine says in the release. "When food and beverage companies aim their TV and online advertising messages directly at this young audience, it makes it hard for parents to do the right thing. We need to protect our children – it’s the responsible thing to do.”
Overweight children have an increased risk of serious health problems later in life, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint problems, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, the release says.
The Child Health Protection Act would change the Food and Drug Act's labelling, packaging and advertising section, making it illegal to market food or beverage directly toward children. A similar law currently exists in Quebec.
Canada's childhood obesity rate has tripled since 1980, according to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee.
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