MP REPORT: Obesity a concern

Okanagan-Shuswap MP supports increased awareness about healthy diet choices

Health professionals are greatly concerned about the epidemic of childhood obesity in today’s society and so am I.

That’s why I seconded MP Royal Galipeau’s motion, C-319 on children’s health, calling on the federal government to encourage individuals and organizations to commit to participating in the promotion of healthy weights, informing Canadians of the health consequences of childhood obesity as well as providing information on healthy diet choices.

I am pleased to report that this motion passed unanimously in Parliament Sept. 19.

I recently met with a local representative in our riding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

During our meeting, I was informed that the Heart and Stroke Foundation campaign this year is promoting awareness and educating Canadians to make healthy food choices for their children.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 33 per cent of children do not drink enough milk, 70 per cent don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and 93 per cent of Canadian children are inactive.

According to these statistics, it’s no wonder childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years.

To help Canadians make healthy food choices, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is proposing the Health Check program.

This program will set a guideline for identifying nutritious foods and providing that information on food packaging.

Labeling needs to be reliable and monitored to ensure claims made on products are factual.

Making this information available to consumers will encourage purchasing products that support the healthy diet their children need.

Obesity trends must be addressed.

The former chairperson of the standing committee on health, Rob Merrifield stated, “Today’s children will become the first generation for some time to have poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

We must get serious about this issue; not just to save future health care costs, but to save our children.