A new Senate committee report is recommending a national campaign to address obesity in Canada and a major overhaul of the Canada Food Guide to reflect current scientific evidence.
The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released the report, called Obesity in Canada: a whole of society approach for a healthier Canada, on March 1, 2016. The report is also calling for a potential tax on sugary beverages, as well as a ban on directing food and beverage advertising at children and a plan for making healthy food more affordable.
“Obesity is a crucial determinant of serious health issues and declining quality of life, with enormous resulting costs to society. Poor diet is a major risk factor in obesity. A substantial reduction in sugar (carbohydrate) consumption would go a long way toward restoring a normal body weight and improved health. Diet can be controlled, but you cannot out-exercise a poor diet,” says Senator Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie, chair of the committee.
The report follows a study conducted by the committee between February 2014 and June 2015. The report notes that notes the number of obese adults has doubled in Canada since 1980 while the number of obese children has tripled, and that each year 48,000 to 66,000 Canadians die from conditions linked to excess weight.