This past Friday our government quietly snuck out their official response to the Healthy Weights, Healthy Kids report that summarized the already politicized "findings" of the Standing Committee on Health.
If you recall, I was kindly asked to testify before that Committee regarding the shortcomings of Canada's new Food Guide.
Previously I had criticized the report itself for being toothless, however if the report was toothless than the official government response lacks even gums.
The original report had recommended:
The official response?
A 31 page document that tried to highlight all of the great work the government's already doing (so great that obesity rates rise year by year and no real dollars are being spent to do anything about it) but plainly avoided making any true commitments to any firm changes.
Bill Jeffery, national coordinator for Canada's arm of the Center for Science in the Public Interest summarized it well in his press release,
"after studying the report for five months, Minister of Health Tony Clement meekly committed mainly just to further research and consultations, leaving the impression that the government hasn’t done its homework or is stalling to curry favour with key food industry players."I guess our industry-based, rather than evidence-based Food Guide is here to stay, as are trans-fats in our food supply, fast food commercials targeting children too young to discern the difference between truth and advertising, misleading food labels, poor school nutrition and a lack of calorie information on food menus.
Wonder how much money the government just wasted on the months of testimony, the creation of the report and the official response of self-validated, misguided, inaction?