Food promotion: Local, provincial and territorial regulation of advertising food to children via non-broadcast media

Learn how local, provincial and territorial governments can increase healthy eating by regulating food marketing via non-broadcast media

Inside this healthy eating policy pack

Promotion to children via non-broadcast media

Issue

Food promotion

Action

Promotion to children via non-broadcast media 1

  • Mandatory regulation of food marketing in schools, preschools 1,2
  • Policies restrict promotion of unhealthy foods in other settings where children gather (e.g., sport and cultural events) 1,2

Degree of policy adoption*

Provinces and territories: LOW
31 Canadian municipalities:** LOW

Current action(s) in Canada

Provinces and territories

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.

31 municipalities**

None of the 31 municipalities in the Directory have implemented policies related to marketing to children.

Opportunities for action

Federal Bill S-228, the Child Health Protection Act,3 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.

** Prevention Policies Directory captures information for 31 Canadian municipalities (18 largest municipalities in Canada, and at least 1-2 largest municipalities in all other provinces/territories).


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 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