Marketing to Children
The World Health Organization and health organizations worldwide are leading efforts to ensure children everywhere are protected against food and beverage marketing. Children are exposed to multiple forms of marketing as food and beverage companies spend billions of dollars targeting this group. Voluntary measures seem to be ineffective in changing the overall marketing environment. As such, policies need to be put in place to protect children from food and beverage marketing.
The commercial marketing of all food and beverages to children and youth aged 16 years and younger should be restricted. Restrictions would include all forms of marketing with the exception of non-commercial marketing for public education purposes. Dietitians of Canada has adopted the “Ottawa Principles” from the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition.
- In 2010, Dietitians of Canada released its own position paper, Advertising of Food and Beverages to Children. Since then we have been working with other health organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Childhood Obesity Foundation and the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada to examine current and evolving evidence related to the impacts of marketing on children's behaviour and choices, for the purpose of collaborating to set new policy directions that protect children's rights.
- In November 2015 in our letter of welcome to the new Minister of Health we noted our support for restrictions on advertising to children and reiterated this position when we met with her on February 22, 2016.
- On February 24, 2016 we became a Supporting Partner of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition that released the Ottawa Principles which call for policies and regulations to effectively protect children from commercial food and beverage marketing.
- On September 28, 2016 as a member of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, we supported Senator Nancy Greene Raine's public bill to prohibit food and beverage marketing to children.
- Dietitians of Canada responded to Health Canada's consultation on Restricting Marketing to Children, following member engagement and incorporating response from the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, in which DC is a supporting partner.
- Throughout 2018, the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition continued its support in moving forward with Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children). On Dec 3, 2018, Dietitians of Canada sent a letter addressed to the Senate of Canada, urging Senators to support the final steps to bring this legislation to royal assent.
- May 2019 - Dietitians of Canada, as a member of the M2K Coalition, urged Senator Pamela Wallin (and all members of the senate) to take action on Bill S-228, noting that "Failure to pass Bill S-228 will result in the undoing of years of health research, consultation and backing by people across Canada."