Is the Canadian government protecting the food industry at the expense of people's health?
A report from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says Canada is being "bullish" in its attempts to block a United Nations proposal calling on governments around the world to reduce the amount of fats, sugar and salt in processed foods. World leaders are meeting next month to discuss the proposal, which calls on governments to work on reducing non-communicable diseases by agreeing to new guidelines on unhealthy food, tobacco, alcohol and physical activity.
The BMJ article says Canada, along with the U.S. and the European Union, is trying "to block proposals for the inclusion of an overarching goal: to cut preventable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025." Dr. Debra Cohen, the BMJ's investigations editor, added in an interview that "Canada has been particularly bullish, even more bullish than the U.S. in protecting industry."
The Public Health Agency of Canada denies the claims, however, saying in a statement that the BMJ does not "provide an accurate representation of Canada's views or sufficient context for these issues." Whatever the case, obesity is a serious problem in this country - a report from last year found that 25 percent of Canadians are obese, and that rate is expected to increase by five percent over the next 10 years.