Ontario doctors launched a controversial campaign on October 23rd calling for junk food warning labels, like the ones printed by law on cigarette packages, to become the norm. The Ontario Medical Association thinks Canadian society should start shaming french fries, pizza and soft drinks like it does smoking.
It wants the federal government to take bold action against childhood obesity by discouraging high-calorie, low-nutritional value treats. Not even chocolate milk and fruit juices are spared from criticism. The organization also proposed higher taxes on fatty and sugary foods, lower taxes on healthy foods and restrictions on snack food sales in sports venues and recreational centers frequented by children and teenagers.
“The time for gentle admonitions has come and gone. We need to fight this problem with proven tools like tax incentives and graphic warnings,” said OMA’s president, Dr. Doug Weir. “There is an enormous body of evidence that these measures work.” New Statistics Canada data, based on World Health Organization criteria, shows about 26 to 31.5 percent of youth between five to 17 years old are overweight. Obesity also costs Ontario about $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.
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