McGuinty Congratulates Canadian Soft Drink Industry
Removing Carbonated Beverages From Schools Supports Real, Positive Change for Kids
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today congratulated Refreshments Canada on its decision to voluntarily remove carbonated beverages from vending machines in Canada's elementary and middle schools.
"I'm pleased that the Canadian beverage industry is taking a strong leadership role in helping our children make healthier choices," said Premier McGuinty. "Promoting or choosing a healthy lifestyle is a great New Year's resolution -- for individuals, organizations and corporations alike."
"Our government said we would help make our elementary school students more active and healthy," said Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy. "We're pleased that the industry supports real, positive change for kids. It's the right thing to do."
A Statistics Canada study conducted between 1994 and 1999 concluded that over one-third of all Canadian children aged two to 11 were overweight and that of these, over half could be considered obese. Childhood obesity and low levels of activity are recognized as a serious health threat because they can lead to coronary disease and type-2 diabetes in later life.
"Our kids face challenges that were unheard of just a few decades ago," said Premier McGuinty. "A more sedentary lifestyle combined with higher-calorie diets makes it hard for many children to lead healthy, active lives. But by working together, we can dramatically improve our children's health."
"Our government is committed to a healthier Ontario. That starts with educating our young people about lifestyle choices, encouraging a more nutritious diet and providing them with more opportunities to get active. In the coming year, our government will continue to work with schools, industry groups and parents to help Ontario's children lead healthier lives," said Premier McGuinty.