Education, not more regulation

Re: Sugar-heavy drinks eyed for regulation (News, Sept. 21)

Re: Sugar-heavy drinks eyed for regulation (News, Sept. 21)

The Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) believes that education, not restrictions, will empower Canadians to make the food and beverage choices that are appropriate for them and their families.

No single food or beverage causes weight gain or obesity – weight gain is an imbalance of calories consumed versus expended. It is misguided and inaccurate to suggest that targeting and restricting a single product, a product’s size or category will successfully impact the issue of obesity.

According to recent research, 86 per cent of Canadians feel governments should be educating the public in order to change its behaviour, not taxing or restricting them and 92 per cent said when it comes to reducing obesity government, the food/beverage industry and health care professionals should all work together.

It is also important to recognize that Canada isn’t the United States. According to Statistics Canada, soft drink consumption has declined by 32 per cent over the past 12 years while the obesity rate has continued to rise. No other single fact illustrates the lack of relationship between weight gain and soft drinks as clearly as this statistic.

It is through education rather than restrictions that Canadians will become empowered to make the food and beverage choices that are appropriate for them.  In order to make these choices, Canadians need access to reliable and factual information and tools.

Jim Goetz

President

Canadian Beverage Association