Ottawa Public Health to look at limiting junk food ads on city property and schools

Ottawa Public Health wants to limit the access kids have to sugary drinks and salty snack foods, and is pitching a plan to the City's Board of Health.

In a report for next Monday's Board meeting, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Isra Levy lays out a five-point plan aimed at tackling childhood obesity.

  • Restrict food and beverage marketing to children on municipal property, such as childcare settings, libraries, public transit, recreation centres and parks.
  • Restrict food and beverage marketing in schools.
  • Limit access to food and beverages high in salt, fat, sugar or calories on municipal property.
  • Reviewing zoning restrictions close to child-focused settings including schools and playgrounds.
  • Limit sole-sourced contracts with food and beverage companies to ensure the healthfulness of food and beverage options. This would include the numbers, content and placement of vending machines in child-focused settings.

If approved, Ottawa Public Health would begin consulting the public on the ideas.

Earlier this year, the Heart and Stroke Foundation published a report calling for legislation to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.