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Canadians favor banning kid junk food ads

  |   Jan. 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM
OTTAWA, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Most Canadians say they strongly support banning marketing of high-fat, high-sugar or high-salt foods aimed at kids and youth, a survey indicates.

The Public Health Agency of Canada commissioned the survey and accompanying focus group testing to gauge the public's appetite for government initiatives to combat childhood obesity.

Eight focus groups held in Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg and Montreal questioned participants on their attitudes about childhood obesity, and many participants "expressed concern, often unprompted, with the widespread marketing of unhealthy food choices," the report said.

Forty percent said they supported a special tax on soft drinks, and 37 percent said they favored a tax on junk foods such as chips and candy to fund programs to fight childhood obesity, the survey found.

About 70 percent of Canadians strongly support requiring fast food restaurants to list nutrition information on their menus and requiring companies to provide straightforward nutrition information on the front of food packages.

The survey of 1,222 Canadian adults, carried out in March 2011 by Ipsos Reid, has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points. The accompanying focus groups were held last June.

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