updated 12/1/2010 9:15:50 PM ET 2010-12-02T02:15:50

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Because advertising does influence food choices in children, Dietitians of Canada (DC), in its position paper released today, calls for more effective controls on advertising of foods and beverages to children in all forms and in all settings where children normally gather. This includes television, advergamming, product placements, cartoon characters, celebrity endorsements, marketing in schools, and so on.  

"Evidence is clear: the current food advertising environment leads to poorer food choices for children," says Dr Judy Sheeshka, registered dietitian and author of DC's position. "This can hinder children's growth and development. We need to act now before further damage is done." 

The current system of self-regulation, although a step in the right direction, does not go far enough. This system needs to apply consistent, science-based standards for determining what food and beverages can be advertised. Establishment of these standards should be led by the federal government with input from health related non-government organizations, health professionals, consumers and the food industry. Once the standard is set all food companies should participate in this renewed system. 

Setting the criteria will take time. An enhanced self-regulatory system will require a well-developed monitoring system to ensure compliance and receive complaints.  Evaluation of the impact of the stepped-up self-regulatory system would also be required. 

Dietitians of Canada is prepared to work with industry, government and others to make this position a reality. The full position paper is available at Dietitians' Views - www.dietitians.ca

Dietitians of Canada represents almost 6,000 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition. For trusted advice on food and nutrition visit Dietitians of Canada web site at  www.dietitians.ca

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For further information or to arrange an interview with Judy Sheeshka contact:

Thida Ith, MSc, PDt

Media Relations Manager

Dietitians of Canada

PH: (514) 504-8689

or

Paul-Guy Duhamel, MSc, PDt

Public Affairs Manager

Dietitians of Canada

PH: (514) 270-9801

About  Judy Sheeshka, PhD, RD

Judy Sheeshka is a Registered Dietitian and an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. Her research is on food and nutrition policy and consumer food choices.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Judy Sheeshka contact:

Thida Ith, MSc, PDt

Media Relations Manager

Dietitians of Canada

PH: (514) 504-8689

or 

Paul-Guy Duhamel, MSc, PDt

Public Affairs Manager

Dietitians of Canada

PH: (514) 270-9801

Dietitians of Canada represents almost 6,000 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition. For trusted advice on food and nutrition visit Dietitians of Canada web site at  www.dietitians.ca

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