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Recommendations of the Healthy Kids Panel Report

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Recommendations of the Healthy Kids Panel Report

Ministry of Health

In May 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care assembled a group of experts to serve on its Healthy Kids Panel and provide advice on how to best achieve the government's target of reducing childhood obesity.

Today, the panel released a series of recommendations, informed by expert advice from health care leaders, non-profit organizations, academia, and industry to guide the government's initiatives:

Start All Kids on the Path to Health

  • Educate women of child-bearing age about the impact of their health and weight on their own well-being and that of their children
  • Include a standard pre-pregnancy health check and wellness visit for women planning a pregnancy and their partners
  • Adopt a standardized prenatal education curriculum and ensure courses are accessible and affordable for all women across the province
  • Encourage and support breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life
  • Use well-baby and childhood immunization visits to promote healthy weights and enhance surveillance and early intervention
Change the Food Environment
  • Ban the marketing of high calorie, low-nutrient foods, beverages and snacks to children under age 12
  • Ban point-of-sale promotions and displays of high calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages in retail settings, beginning with sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Require all restaurants, including fast-food outlets and retail grocery stores, to list the calories in each item on their menus and to make this information visible on menu boards
  • Encourage food retailers to adopt transparent, easy-to-understand, standard, objective nutrition rating systems for the products in their stores
  • Support the use of Canada's Food Guide and the nutrition facts panel
  • Provide incentives for Ontario food growers and producers, food distributors, corporate food retailers, and non-governmental organizations to support community-based food distribution programs
  • Provide incentives for food retailers to develop stores in "food deserts"
  • Establish a universal school nutrition program for all Ontario publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools
  • Establish a universal school nutrition program for First Nations communities
  • Develop a single standard guideline for food and beverages served or sold where children play and learn
Create Healthy Communities
  • Develop a comprehensive social marketing program that focuses on healthy eating, active living, mental health and adequate sleep
  • Join EPODE (Ensemble Prévenons l'Obésité Des Enfants- Together Let's Prevent Childhood Obesity) International and adopt a co-ordinated, community-driven approach to developing healthy communities for kids
  • Make schools hubs for child health and community engagement
  • Create healthy environments for preschool children
  • Develop the knowledge and skills of key professions to support parents in raising healthy kids
  • Speed implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Continue to implement the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
  • Ensure families have timely access to specialized obesity programs when needed

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