Ontario doctors push for junk food warning labels

Published On October 25, 2012 | By | News

Health Canada’s guide to healthy eating helps prevent obesity.
COURTESY HEALTH CANADA

By Bianca Bykhovsky

With Halloween just around the corner, Ontario doctors have introduced aggressive new measures with the hope of preventing obesity, particularly among children.

The Ontario Medical Association announced Tuesday a series of recommendations to the province, including tax increases on junk food, graphic warning labels, and restricted availability of low-nutritional- value foods.

The goal is to prevent thousands of premature deaths associated with obesity as well as decreasing the number of overweight children in Canada, according to the OMA’s website.

The Consumers’ Association of Canada has branded the OMA strategy a dud that will never make into provincial law.

“”We simply don’t see (any) benefit of this,” said CAC President Bruce Cran. Part of the problem is figuring out what constitutes “junk food.” The consumer body wants organizations such as the OMA to clearly define the term, he said.

In the meantime,  the CAC believes there are far more pressing issues that consumers should be concerned about.

“We have been fighting for 20 years for GMO  (genetically modified organism) labeling,” he said.

According to Statistics Canada, more than  25 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 are either overweight or obese.

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