OMA Fight Obesity Campaign

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One in three Canadian children aged 5 to 17 is overweight or obese, compared to 14 to 18 per cent in the early 1980s, Statistics Canada reported last year. To combat this alarming situation, a market loaded with unhealthy options and powerful brands aimed squarely at kids and stretched parents, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) wants unhealthy foods to be taxed the same way tobacco is. The OMA says three-quarters of overweight children will remain so in adulthood, with health effects ranging from diabetes to certain types of cancer and heart disease. “If we don’t start taking immediate action now, our health-care system will soon be overwhelmed by the demands of a completely preventable complication associated with obesity,” said OMA President Dr. Doug Weir. Their group has a plan;

Increasing taxes on junk food and decreasing taxes on healthy foods.
Restricting marketing of fatty and sugary foods to children.
Placing graphic warning labels on pop and other high-calorie foods with little to no nutritional value.
Adding retail displays for high-sugar, high-fat foods that prominently advise consumers of the health risks.
Restricting the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities frequented by young people.

Just as graphic images are required on cigarette packages, the doctors said, junk food such as french fries should come in packaging illustrating the toll obesity takes on the body. The OMA has started its own campaign against low nutritional foods, saying such a move helped bring smoking rates down and could help lead to better eating habits.

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