Food promotion: Provincial and territorial regulation of advertising food to children via broadcast media

Learn how provincial and territorial governments can increase healthy eating by regulating broadcasting of food advertising to children

Learn how provincial and territorial governments can increase healthy eating by regulating broadcasting of food advertising to children

Inside this healthy eating policy pack

Promotion to children via broadcast media

Issue

Food promotion

Action

Promotion to children via broadcast media 1

  • Mandatory regulation of broadcast food advertising to children (e.g., TV, radio)2,3

Degree of policy adoption*

Provinces and territories: LOW

Current action(s) in Canada

A long-time early adopter of this action is Quebec. Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act prohibits all advertising to children under 13 (including unhealthy foods and drinks) through all media.

Opportunities for action

Federal Bill S-228, the Child Health Protection Act,4 if enacted, will restrict advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages to children under the age of 13 through all media.

Many provinces and territories also have policies that support marketing of local fruits and vegetables (BC, AB, SK, NT, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS). These are not specific to children but could be strengthened or adopted in other jurisdictions to promote healthy food, instead of unhealthy food.

* Levels of adoption:  LOW = very few jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; MEDIUM = some, but not all jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; HIGH = most jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action.


References

1 Vanderlee L, Goorang S, Karbasy K, Schermel A, L’Abbe M. Creating healthier food environments in Canada: Current policies and priority actions – Summary report. Toronto; University of Toronto, 2017.

2 World Cancer Research Fund International. NOURISHING policy framework. Retrieved from: https://www.wcrf.org/int/policy/nourishing/our-policy-framework-promote-healthy-diets-reduce-obesity

3 World Cancer Research Fund International. (2009). Policy recommendations. Retrieved from: https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-prevention-recommendations

4 Government of Canada. (2018). Restricting marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children: An update on proposed regulations. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-restricting-unhealthy-food-and-beverage-marketing-to-children/update-proposed-regulations.html