A panel commissioned by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has issued a March 2013 report outlining a three-part strategy designed to curb rising childhood obesity rates by supporting families, changing the food environment and creating healthy communities. Titled “No Time to Wait: The Healthy Kids Strategy,” the report specifically recommends, among other things, that regulators (i) “ban the marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, beverages and snacks to children under age 12”; (ii) “ban point-of-sale promotions and displays of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages in retail settings, beginning with sugar-sweetened beverages”; (iii) “require all restaurants, including fast food outlets and retail grocery stores, to list the calories in each item on their menus and to make this information visible on menu boards”; and (iv) “develop a single standard guideline for food and beverages served or sold where children play and learn.”

“Ontario is at a tipping point,” concluded the Healthy Kids Panel, which has requested a commitment of at least C$80 million per year to reduce childhood obesity. “If we delay, we run the risk of more aggressive measures in the future.”