Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention (APCCP)

April 28, 2011 08:27 ET

Canadian Obesity Network-International Consensus: Take Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 28, 2011) - Twenty health policy experts from across Canada, the US and the UK gathered together to build consensus on how governments should act to protect and promote the health of Canadian children, with a focus on preventing obesity.

The group discussed regulating marketing to children, using community design to promote healthy eating and physical activity, and changing the price structure of food to support healthy choices. "Canadian children deserve a healthier environment in which to grow," says Dr. Kim Raine, Co-Director of the Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention (APCCP). "Public policies shape our environments and Canadians feel the time has come for governments to improve regulations in the interest of children's health. It's time for action." The consensus group wants governments to demonstrate commitment to the health of children by taking decisive action to protect children's health.

Canadian children deserve effective regulations to protect them from predatory marketing practices. Quebec is the only Canadian jurisdiction that currently has a law to protect children under the age of thirteen. While International experts hold up the Quebec law as a model, the consensus group recommended strengthening enforcement and protecting youth up to the age of 16 across all Canadian jurisdictions.

Suzie Pellerin, Director of the Quebec Coalition on Weight-Related Problems, said "We need to look at all options available in the fight against childhood obesity. The consensus meeting confirmed the need to build a comprehensive plan to achieve substantial impact." A tax on sugar sweetened beverages was recommended as a first step toward changing the price structure of food and beverages that currently promotes unhealthy choices.

The consensus conference was a satellite meeting held in advance of the Canadian Obesity Network's 2nd National Obesity Summit that will take place in Montreal from April 28 – May 1.

The Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention (APCCP) hosted the session.

The APCCP represents a broad range of community organizations, practitioners, policy‐makers and researchers who have come together to coordinate efforts, generate evidence, and advocate for policy change in order to reduce cancer and other chronic diseases in Alberta.

Visit the APCCP website: www.abpolicycoalitionforprevention.ca.

Contact Information

  • To arrange an interview contact:
    Shandy Reed, Policy Analyst with the APCCP
    780-271-8027

    Amelie Desrosiers, Communications Officer with the
    Quebec Coalition on Weight-Related Problems
    514-475-7431
    adesrosiers@cqpp.qc.ca