Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Sugary drinks - tough news to swallow on public health policy efforts
Two breaking Twitter feeds to lap up on sugary drinks.
BC advocates arguing for a 20% surtax on sugary drinks is stirring up some sweet debate with support right to the top of the public health leadership. Not surprising the Fraser Institute was quick to pour water over an otherwise tasty solution. Their rhetoric vilifies the consumer and not the producer. The Canadian Beverage Association was quick to agree.
Cheers to BC for stirring the cup, perhaps there may be a way to skim the cream off the top. Business Vancouver July 23
On the East coast, disappointing but not surprising news out of New York that the Appeals Court in New York deemed the proposed ban on sale of large sized sugary drinks as unconstitutional. Well perhaps they are right that large sized sugary drinks should never have been presented to our constitutional and hence are unconstitutional, but from a legal perspective it seems the needs of those getting fat wallets outweigh the needs of those just getting fat. CBC news coverage
Despite the potholes, it will take an ongoing and concerted effort across the continent in a variety of government forums to begin to control this one issue. Quebec has begun to pave the path with a preclusion on marketing of food products to children which has been in place since the 1980s and does have a positive impact on exposure to French speaking media.
A good policy analysis on the marketing of sugary drinks to youth can be found at Childhood Obesity Foundation.
What both go to show, is that just as in tobacco reduction, no one strategy is effective, it requires the combined collective efforts and will of communities to make something different happen. The question we should all ask is which Canadian jurisdiction will stand up and develop and implement a comprehensive strategy? It usually is one that is under the radar of government and industry alike.