Stop marketing to our kids

Co-led by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Childhood Obesity Foundation, the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition (of which Food Secure Canada is a supporting partner) says the time has come to protect children and to support parents to make healthy decisions for their families.

The coalition has developed the Ottawa Principles, which outline the policy recommendation of restricting commercial marketing of all food and beverages to children and youth 16 and under, with marketing being defined as any means of advertising or promoting products or services. The restrictions would not apply to non-commercial marketing for valid public health education or public awareness campaigns. The Ottawa Principles also include a set of definitions, scope, and principles to guide policy development.

More information about the coalition including the Ottawa Principles, and a mechanism for concerned Canadians to send their member of parliament a letter supporting restrictions on food and beverage marketing to kids, is available at the coalition website at www.stopmarketingtokids.ca

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Twenty-six Canadian organizations, and growing, are calling on our governments to restrict food and beverage marketing to children, age 16 and younger. Together, we stand behind The Ottawa Principles, a set of definitions, scope and principles meant to guide marketing to kids restrictions in Canada.

In Canada, as much as 90 per cent of the food marketed to children and youth on TV is unhealthy. Kids are targeted through many channels and in different venues. This includes TV and movies, and in schools, rec centres, stores, and restaurants, and across the Internet. Tactics include logo placement and coupon giveaways, sponsorships, celebrity endorsements, branded videogames, product placement, and toy giveaways in restaurants.

“Parents work extremely hard to teach their children healthy habits as they know the habits they form at an early age follow them through their lives. We need to help parents as they strive to instill healthy preferences in their children,” says Dr Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation. “To do this we need to protect our children and youth from harmful industry marketing tactics.”

The coalition has developed the Ottawa Principles, which outline the policy recommendation of restricting commercial marketing of all food and beverages to children and youth 16 and under, with marketing being defined as any means of advertising or promoting products or services. The restrictions would not apply to non-commercial marketing for valid public health education or public awareness campaigns. The Ottawa Principles also include a set of definitions, scope, and principles to guide policy development.

More information about the coalition including the Ottawa Principles, and a mechanism for concerned Canadians to send their member of parliament a letter supporting restrictions on food and beverage marketing to kids, is available at the coalition website at www.stopmarketingtokids.ca