For a long time I have been an advocate of healthier eating and exercise as a better way of life. Not just for people who are overweight, but also for those who are struggling daily to maintain the weight they already have.
I haven’t been alone in my advocacy…far from it. There are thousands of people who are just like me that spend countless hours trying to help others. The problem is that all of us combined don’t have the money or the voice that a “food” product company with the weight of a multi-million dollar Madison Avenue advertising agency can put together.
Even governments are often against the voice of health advocacy at times by providing unbelievable benefits to “food” processors while leaving farmers and natural food producers out in the cold fighting to make a go of it against big corporations.
So, I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the Ontario Medical Association come out swinging…FINALLY against it all. Yes, finally. No one knows better the impact of an obese society than the medical profession. Diabetes, heart attack, cancers, kidney disease, liver failure… can all be tracked to obesity and nutritional deficiencies.
Today, they delivered their opinion and hopefully governments will listen. Who knows, they might actually listen since the OMA said the magic words… a new tax!!!! Tax crappy food and reduce the tax on healthy foods! THAT IS A MASSIVE WIN-WIN.
“We are raising a generation of children that will suffer from devastating and wholly preventable diseases, overwhelm the health system, and die prematurely. We need immediate and strong legal action to address what Ontario’s doctors are now seeing in the diabetes clinics and the stroke centers, and on the operating table: a full-scale public health crisis.”
“The time for gentle admonitions has come and gone. We need to fight this problem with proven tools like tax incentives and graphic warnings. There is an enormous body of evidence that these measures work.”
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association
Dr. Weir didn’t sugar coat this and he sure didn’t pussy foot around the issue. It is a “full scale public-health crisis.”
All our tax dollars collectively are funding a 2.2 Billion to 2.5 Billion dollar epidemic that can be fixed. I don’t know about you but I think that funneling that money to things like education, social programs, infrastructure or any number of other big-ticket tax items would do all of society much more good than combatting preventable diseases.
Highlights of the OMA’s suggestions are:
- Increasing taxes on junk food and decreasing tax on healthy foods;
- Restricting marketing of fatty and sugary foods to children;
- Placement of graphic warning labels on pop and other high calorie foods with little to no nutritional value;
- Retail displays of high-sugar, high-fat foods to have information prominently placed advising consumer of the health risks; and
- Restricting the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities that are frequented by young people.
The recommendations put forward today build on the actions Ontario’s doctors have already called for including:
- Legislation that would require calorie contents to be listed adjacent to the items on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants and school cafeterias;
- An education campaign to help inform Ontarians about the impact of caloric intake on weight and obesity; and
- Making physical activity/education mandatory throughout high school. (uhm, how about grades K-12??)
This is a chance for all of you to show your support for the OMA and their common sense suggestions. Let your MPP know that you support the OMA and want to see real changes before it’s too late!
For the full press release click here.