January 22nd, 2021
The Honorable Patty Hajdu Minister of Health
House of Commons Ottawa,
Re: Impact of marketing on kids
Dear minister Hajdu,
First, I would like to reiterate my gratitude for the work you have done over the past 10 months in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Your willingness to listen to public health experts has been essential in the decision making process.
I am writing to you today to talk about an issue that has made the pandemic even harder to handle, diet-related diseases. Despite our best efforts, we are seeing people at higher risk of being admitted to hospital, to an intensive care unit or die because of underlying conditions such as cardio-vascular diseases, obesity or type 2 diabetes.
There is no easy fix to these problems caused by diet-related disease. Nevertheless, health experts agree that the government can act on these issues. The implementation of evidence- based health and nutrition policies such as restricting the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to kids and mandating simple, easy-to-read nutrition labels are essential to protect the health of Canadians and help them make proper decisions as a consumer. The current situation makes it hard to make an enlightened decision about what to buy and eat, and as our kids are exposed more and more to these products through marketing we can expect this serious health issue to get bigger as time passes.
This is why I am writing to you today, to show my support to the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition to implement government legislation to restrict the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to kids, and to finalize Canada Gazette, Part II for front-of-package nutrition labelling.
I hope to see your government continue the leadership it has shown on health files through the pandemic and take significant action in protecting our children’s health.