A version of this commentary appeared in Maclean’s
There’s no denying that the food environment influences the diets of Canadian families, and that food industry marketing is part of that environment. Canadian children are now developing chronic diseases that were almost exclusively seen in adults when I went to medical school a few decades back.
There has been a big shift in our diets, and new research just released in December revealed our children are getting more than half of their calories from ultra-processed foods; kids aged 9-to-13 are closing in on 60 per cent. According to the study’s author, ultra-processed foods are being promoted to displace all other food groups: “They are usually branded assertively, packaged attractively, and marketed intensively, especially to our children.”
Sugary drinks are the biggest contributor of sugar in our diets and young people consume the most sugary drinks: the average youth drinks 578 ml of sugary drinks each day, which adds up to a bathtub of sugary drinks a year.
Read the rest of the article at Maclean’s: http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/a-reality-check-on-the-debate-over-regulating-food-marketing-for-kids/
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