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Trudeau government makes major changes to food regulations

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Ottawa will work with industry to get rid of unhealthy marketing towards children

Canada's Food Guide hasn't been updated since 2007

MONTREAL, QUE. (NEWS 1130) – You’re about to see big changes in the way food being targeted to children is labelled. The federal government has announced it wants to help parents make healthier food choices.

Right now food companies market things like sugary cereals or drinks using cartoon characters, celebrities and even by offering free toys, but that will soon change. While Health Minister Jane Philpott didn’t offer exact details, she did say she will be consulting industry experts and Canadians in an effort to bring in restrictions on marketing to kids.

“I suspect that some of the things I introduce today will provide some challenges for industry and we certainly are aware of that. We need to make choices that are good for Canadians that will support them in making healthy choices and we will obviously make sure we do that in a way that will provide industry time to catch up,” explains Philpott.

That’s not the only measure Ottawa is looking to make. The government will also change labelling requirements next year so information for sugar, sodium and saturated fats will be moved from the side of packaging to the front — that way you can clearly see if a product is healthy or not.

“I’m looking forward to that day when I’m going to walk down a grocery aisle and I’m going to see those front of pack labels that are going to help me choose the very healthiest breakfast cereal on the shelf. And I’m going to be armed with my updated Canada’s Food Guide that is going to be easy to remember, that’s going to be personalized for my needs and my family’s needs.”

With one in three Canadian children considered overweight, the feds will also move to ban the use of trans fats from restaurants and processed foods by 2018.

The nation’s Food Guide was last updated in 2007.