Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation — the equivalent of the American Heart Association — used to take money from food and soda giants (and, not surprisingly, had very industry-friendly positions).
Now that HSF no longer accepts food industry funding, it has become a great model of what health advocacy looks like. Take note, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- “Some of Canada’s largest and most influential health charities — led by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Childhood Obesity Foundation — are girding for a battle they’re comparing to their 1990s campaigns against the cigarette industry. The new target: food and beverage advertising to children. The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition has blossomed to 10 members and 30 endorsements across Canada. And because of the risk unhealthy products could pretend to be healthy, they’re pushing for a complete ban on all food and beverage advertising aimed at under-16s.”
- “The coalition’s manifesto: the Ottawa Principles, a nine-point plan to stop marketing primarily targeted at children, to prevent advertising in schools and daycares, and create review and enforcement mechanisms to approve ads.”
- “Mark Collison, the Heart and Stroke Foundation BC & Yukon’s director of government relations and health promotion. brushed off fears of a “nanny state” choosing what parents can feed their kids. Advertising everything from Happy Meals to Disney-themed soda pops, the Heart and Stroke Foundation argued, has effectively “brainwashed” generations of youth who are psychologically vulnerable to marketing ploys. “This isn’t about a nanny state,” he added. “We’re not telling people what to do. We’re telling industry what to do: back off and let parents do their job.”