Medindia

X

Junk Food Tax Urged To Curb Surging Obesity Rates In Canada

by VR Sreeraman on  April 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM Obesity News   - G J E 4
Canada and other developed countries are facing an obesity epidemic, with the increase in numbers of overweight kids and young adults. Experts urge for legislative approaches to address this issue, according to an article in CMAJ. Canadians have become heavier and less fit over the last three decades; people aged 20-39 years have the BMI (body mass index) that people aged 40 or older had thirty years ago. The 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey found more than 60% of adults were overweight or obese, with 24% being overweight, and 37% obese. If such a trend is to continue, over the next 25 years, half of Canadians over age 40 will be obese.
 Junk Food Tax Urged To Curb Surging Obesity Rates In Canada
Junk Food Tax Urged To Curb Surging Obesity Rates In Canada
Advertisement

"Obesity is expected to surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality," writes author Dr. Mark J. Eisenberg, Jewish General Hospital, Divisions of Cardiology and Clinical Epidemiology, with coauthors. "Obesity reduces life expectancy by more than 10 years as a comorbidity with coronary artery disease, osteoarthritis, dyslipidemia, hypertension, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Thus, obesity causes considerable morbidity and mortality and represents a burden of $3.96 billion on the Canadian economy each year."

Advertisement
The consumption of high calorie foods, especially junk food, and decreases in activity levels are helping to fuel this increase in obesity. While it is viewed as a medical condition to treat, a variety of legislative approaches and public health interventions could help combat obesity.

Suggested government-level interventions include taxing junk food, improving serving size and nutritional labeling, banning certain foods and ingredients, and regulating sodium consumption. Corporate and school level solutions such as limiting access to junk food in schools are other approaches.

"Although obesity has traditionally been conceptualized as a physical problem for physicians to treat, there is increasing awareness of the role that governments, corporations and educators can play in preventing and reducing obesity," write the authors.

"The growing problem of obesity in Canada can be reversed only with an integrated approach involving both the public health and medical models," conclude the authors. "Stakeholders at all levels must be involved to achieve the greatest overall impact."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All