Stop marketing to our kids

16 January 2018

The time has come to protect children from ads for unhealthy food and beverages, and support parents to make healthy decisions for their families

Canadian children and youth are exposed to ads for unhealthy foods and beverages every day, and as much as 90% of food and beverages marketed on TV are high in salt, fat, sugar or calories.

Research shows that food and beverage marketing has an impact on the foods children eat, their food preferences and beliefs, the foods they ask their parents to buy and rising rates of childhood obesity.

This is concerning to us because if children who are obese remain obese as adults, they are at increased risk for at least 11 different types of cancer.

Children and youth are targeted through multiple channels including movies, video and advergames, websites, apps, social media, at school, in rec centres, stores and restaurants, and through celebrity endorsements.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) believes the time has come to protect children and support parents to make healthy decisions for their families.

CCS is a proud supporting partner of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition and one of over more than 100 endorsers
of the Ottawa Principles. The Ottawa Principles call for restriction of commercial marketing of all food and beverages to children and youth age 16 and under with the exception of non-commercial marketing for public education.

Clarissa Smith, a registered dietitian from Winnipeg, is a volunteer with the coalition's Young Leaders Team who is working to show Canadian youth (age 15-30) what the food and beverage industry is doing when they target children in their marketing, and how this negatively affects their health. “Kids are often influencing their families’ food choices,” says Clarissa, 27. “When so much food and beverage marketing targets children, families aren’t given the space to make decisions and educate their children on nutritious foods.”

Take action today. Help protect Canadian children.