Ontario is rapidly moving towards a junk food free environment in its schools as it prepares for new guidelines in September 2011.
“We want to eliminate the sale of foods that contain trans fats from our cafeterias, and eliminate the sale of junk foods and foods that contain trans fats from our vending machines,” McGuinty said. Chocolate bars, potato chips and soft drinks have already been banned from Ontario’s elementary schools. The new legislation would enshrine that policy in law and eventually expand the junk food ban to include high schools. Government officials have also said school cafeterias will be required to follow the Canada Food Guide with their menus….The premier believes parents should be able to count on government as a partner in educating children about how to avoid unhealthy foods and make healthier choices.
Ontario is joining British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec as provinces which have legislated unhealthy foods out of its schools. In BC, the ban has slowly been extended into hospitals, colleges and all public property. Governments are concerned not only with the health and well-being of school children but rising health costs that follow the junk food lifestyle. The obesity epidemic is driving change at every level of government in Canada. Federal and provincial health ministers will meet in November 2011 to discuss an action plan on the issue.
Studies after studies show that 28 per cent of students, between two and 17, are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to all sorts of health problems like diabetes and heart diseases. Under the new provincial policy, foods with few or no essential nutrients or those that contain high volumes of fat, sugar or sodium will be banned from sale in all Ontario schools. Pop, chocolate bars, candy and fries will be among the casualties in cafeterias and vending machines.