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Dietitians' group slams food ads aimed at kids


A new position paper released today by the Dietitians of Canada (DC) claims that Canada's current food advertising environment leads to poorer food choices for children.

Professor Judy Sheeshka, author of the paper and a registered dietitian, said in a release that advertising foods and beverages of low nutritional quality to kids can hinder children's growth and development. She suggest changes be made now "before further damage is done."

While the report says food companies self-regulate their ads voluntarily, this isn't necessarily enough to diminish the negative impact on kids' food selections. The report also takes the position that the federal government should lead a move (with input from other parties, including the food industry and consumers) towards establishing science-based standards for "healthy" and "less healthy" foods and beverages.

DC also believes that restrictions placed on advertising to children must be applied to all settings where kids gather and to all forms of advertising. This goes beyond television to video games, cartoon characters and marketing in schools.

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