Big sugary drinks: next CRD ban?

Medical Health officer weighs-in on newly-minted New York regulations in fight against obesity

Big sugary drinks took a hit last week in North America’s battle against obesity.

New York City’s board of health passed a rule banning sales of sodas larger than 473 millilitres at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries – but customers with a sweet tooth in the Capital Region could be the next to notice a menu change.

Never one to be left out of the discussion on health regulations, Vancouver Island Health Authority’s chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick – an outspoken leader in the successful campaigns to ban public smoking, idling vehicles and teens using tanning beds within the CRD – is considering what local action could be taken to regulate consumption of high-calorie drinks.

“This is a concern,” Stanwick said. “We do know the contribution of a sugary diet to overall obesity rates and a bunch of other things, including diabetes.”

Rather than lobbying for a cap on portion sizes, a better approach, Stanwick said, might involve regulating amounts of sugar within products, similar to the province’s move to restrict trans fats in 2009.

Emblazoning packaging with a symbol indicating the amount of sugar in sweetened drink is one option VIHA’s medical health officers have considered and may bring forward in the future, he said. A single 473 ml drink (slightly more than a regular can of pop at 355 ml) may contain as many as 16 teaspoons of sugar.

Quoting the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Stanwick points to the tripling of obesity rates in 12-to 17-year-olds since 1980.

“Clearly we have our work cut out for us,” Stanwick said. “This is an issue that’s on the radar of every medical health officer in the province.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Prize winning Urban Bee Honey Farm generating a buzz

Urban Bee honoured at the Vancouver Island Business Awards

African rhythms, dance performance to help out Sierra Leone charity group

Feb. 23 show by Issamba ensemble a fundraiser for Victoria-Taiama Partnership

Excitement builds for first Victoria Folk ‘N Fiddle Festival in Sidney

First headliners announced, wide range of community friendly musical, cultural events planned

Over 100 take the Vancouver Island polar plunge

More than $25,000 raised for BC Special Olympics athletes

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read