The need for effective taxation on sugar-based beverages in Canada
1) Food banks/pantries, facilitated through corporate tax deductions in Canada, should be expanded.
2) Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes should be implemented in Canada.
3) Canada’s Food Guide should include food industry involvement in the consultation and development process
4) All large municipal water sources in Canada should be fluoridated.
5) Gluten-free food should be eligible for a tax deduction without documented celiac diagnosis. 6) Canada should implement mandatory front-of-package labelling.
7) Registered Dietetics training should include a paid internship.
8) All dietetic internship training should be integrated in post-secondary institutions.
9) Food and Nutrition/Home Economics should be mandatory in the Manitoba High School curriculum, grades 9-12.
10) Dietetic services should be covered by Manitoba Health without a physician referra
11) Nutritionist should be a legally protected term in Canada.
12) Manitoba Health should increase funding for Lactation Consultant services in hospital.
13) The legal age to purchase energy drinks (i.e. Rockstar, Monstor, RedBull) should be 18 years old.
14) Food marketing towards children through sports sponsorship should be banned.
15) Manitoba hospitals should achieve baby friendly status and thus not accept free formula. 16) All menus in Manitoba should include calorie, fat, sugar, and salt content.
17) Dietitians of Canada should implement a policy on improving professional diversity.
18) All licensed Manitoba daycares should provide a lunch program compliant with Canada’s Food Guide.
19) Manitoba elementary schools should have a funded lunch program, i.e. funded supervision during the lunch hour.
20) Vitamin/mineral supplements should be eligible under Manitoba Pharmacare program.
21) Existing Nutrition North Canada subsidies (i.e. funding) should be increased.
22) UofM should have a purchase local food policy
23) Tipping policy
24) Limit pop portion size and refills
25) 100% Fruit Juice should not be considered a fruit or vegetable
26) Restaurants serving raw fish or beef are required to provide warnings for increased risk of food-borne illness
27) All food-borne outbreaks require mandatory recall and are publicly disclosed
28) All public events where children under the age of 12 are present, foods that may contain peanuts are banned
29) All GMOs should be labelled
30) Restaurants must provide a minimum number of paid sick days to its employees.
31) Ingredients in food packaging to be publicly available
32) Human milk bank donations remuneration
33) Less desirable-looking vegetables must be sold at discounted price at grocery stores
34) Winnipeg should implement compost pick-up (similar to yard waste).
35) Best before dates should be banned
36) Mandatory Na reduction in food supply
37) Public vs private municipal water
38) Agriculture and water policies
39) Fast-food restaurants charge for cups to entice people to bring their own cups
40) Grocery stores charge for plastic bags for vegetables/fruits
41) Food security should not apply to individuals and households alone; food security is sustainability; only sustainable food systems can deliver meaningful security
The emerging trends of sugar-based beverage consumption in Canada, has been increasingly associated with an alarming increase of the population in Canada being inflicted with obesity. Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to the occurrences of obesity and the resultant possibilities of susceptibility towards metabolic and lifestyle disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases as well as hypertension (Jayalath et al., 2015).
The following paragraphs of the report, aim to provide supportive information to the concerned infographic presented. As highlighted briefly in the infographic, the following paragraphs discuss the various factors pertaining to the high beverage consumption containing sugars in Canada, followed by summarized data on the prevalence of obesity and the resultant negative health implications due to high sugar consumption. Lastly, the report supporting the infographic, discusses possible recommendations which can be implemented in light of the implementation of taxes controversy in Canada, pertaining to consumption of sugary beverages.
The following paragraphs aim to shed light on supporting information supplementing the concerned infographic.
There has been a considerable controversy prevalence in the nation of Canada, concerning the need for the implementation of effective taxation on the consumption of sugary beverages. Such decisions have arisen considering the escalating trends of sugary drink ingestion in the population and the resultant rise in the rates of obesity along with fatal lifestyle disorders. While several advocates criticize the implementation of the same, highlighting reduced rates of beverages consumptions and possibilities of damage to underprivileged livelihoods, there has been increasing advocacy supporting taxation on sugary drinks in Canada (Baum, 2018). Against the backdrop of such a federal dispute, the goal of this infographic is to present information, supporting the need for reduction in sugary drink consumption due to the high rates of obesity in Canada.
As opined by Obesity Canada, an organization pertaining to the interests and functioning of various health personnel concerned with the detrimental health impacts of obesity, take obesity into consideration, as a chronic disorder resulting in the infliction of a number of fatal metabolic disorders, if left untreated (Rao et al., 2017). In accordance to the Canadian Health Measures, almost one Canadian adult, in a group of three, are suffering from extreme levels of obesity requiring immediate medical attention (Koethe et al., 2016).
The consumption of beverages containing large amounts of added sugar, is excessive in Canada. This is majorly due to the fact, that non-alcoholic beverages containing sugar, are not only attractive in taste amongst the young adult population, but also provide convenience in terms of the ease with which they can be purchased, carried for travelling and consumed (Hu et al., 2013). In accordance to the information provided by Euromonitor International – a notable organization concerned with research as marketing, the consumption of sugary drink in Canada amount to about an alarming 600 milliliters per day, further resulting in a harmful sugar consumption of over 16 teaspoons or 65 grams of the sweet stuff (Singh et al., 2015).
Prevalence of obesity in Canada and its link to excessive sugar consumption
While the causative factors for obesity, is linked to the conductance of behaviors outlining faulty diet and lifestyle factors, the consumption of sugar has recently been advocated as one of the major contributing factors. High sugar consumption is associated with increasing insulin resistance and reduced sensitivity, further resulting in high adipose tissue deposition, emerging serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the consequences of obesity. Further lack of treatment results in the occurrences of lifestyle disorders such as diabetes mellitus of the type 2 type, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders (Mâsse et al., 2014).
Despite the rising political controversy concerning the actual execution of taxation on sugar based beverages, the negative consequences resulting from high sugar consumption and the associated obesity, cannot be ignored or compromised. Hence, the need of the hour is to undertake effective steps by the Federal Government in order to curb this emerging menace. While implementation of a tax on sugary beverages may be helpful, it cannot be solely relied on completely (Riediger & Bombak, 2018). Hence, there is urgent requirement for modifying existing food labels which would specify the amount of added sugars along with comparison to the required dietary guidelines. There is a further need to undertake educational programs by the government which would impart information to the general public regarding the negative health consequences of sugar and the importance of adopting health diet and lifestyle habits.
Hence, from the above report, it can be concluded that the prevalence of obesity in Canada, has been reported to be alarmingly high, along with the associated excessive consumption of sugar-based beverages, by adults and children alike. Due to the detrimental impacts linked with the metabolism of increased sugar consumption due to high and convenient ingestion of beverages, the need of the hour is to undertake sufficient policy and educational frameworks by the Federal Government of Canada. This could include the implementation of salient practices such as execution of taxation in terms of sugar containing beverages, revision of nutritional information on food labels and imparting educational and awareness concerning the detrimental impact of high sugar consumption and the resultant obesity.
Baum, K. (2018). Soft drinks, hard decisions: What Canada is doing amid the global sugar-tax debate. [online] The Globe and Mail. Available at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sugar-tax-debate-canada-soda-childhood-obesity/article36591805/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2018].
Jayalath, V. H., de Souza, R. J., Ha, V., Mirrahimi, A., Blanco-Mejia, S., Di Buono, M., ... & Kendall, C. W. (2015). Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and incident hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohorts–3. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 102(4), 914-921.
Koethe, J. R., Jenkins, C. A., Lau, B., Shepherd, B. E., Justice, A. C., Tate, J. P., ... & Blashill, A. J. (2016). Rising obesity prevalence and weight gain among adults starting antiretroviral therapy in the United States and Canada. AIDS research and human retroviruses, 32(1), 50-58.
Mâsse, L. C., de Niet-Fitzgerald, J. E., Watts, A. W., Naylor, P. J., & Saewyc, E. M. (2014). Associations between the school food environment, student consumption and body mass index of Canadian adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11(1), 29.
Rao, D. P., Kropac, E., Do, M. T., Roberts, K. C., & Jayaraman, G. C. (2017). Status report--Childhood overweight and obesity in Canada: an integrative assessment. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Canada: research, policy and practice, 37(3), 87-93.
Riediger, N. D., & Bombak, A. E. (2018). Sugar-sweetened beverages as the new tobacco: examining a proposed tax policy through a Canadian social justice lens. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association journal= journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 190(11), E327.
Singh, G. M., Micha, R., Khatibzadeh, S., Shi, P., Lim, S., Andrews, K. G., ... & Global Burden of Diseases Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Expert Group (NutriCoDE. (2015). Global, regional, and national consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, and milk: a systematic assessment of beverage intake in 187 countries. PloS one, 10(8), e0124845.
Hu, F. B. (2013). Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar?sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity?related diseases. Obesity reviews, 14(8), 606-619.
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