Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CBC Marketplace Bashes Health Check (Again)

I know most of my readers know that I'm far from fond of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's misinformation program "Health Check", and in my discussions with allied health professionals involved in nutrition and chronic disease prevention I can tell you my sentiments are widely shared.

CBC Marketplace, Canada's award winning investigative consumer affairs show has also rightly targeted Health Check as being deceptive and a program that may well be misleading consumers into buying less healthy choices. Last year they did a feature on Health Check (where I made a few brief appearances) and last Friday they hit them again in their "Busted" segment.

This time they were looking at the sodium content in restaurant foods such as the ones I've made fun of in the past at Boston Pizza.

To be honest at this point I really can't fathom what's going on inside the heads of the Health Check folks. Their program is maligned by anyone who bothers to take the time to really look at it (even Chatelaine magazine bashed it), the food industry itself has proposed a more rigorous front-of-package labeling program, and I have to imagine the controversy has affected donations. Why they persist in hanging onto it is beyond me. Isn't it time to hang up the gloves? Either completely revamp the program (or better yet, license Nuval) or just let it go. It's not helping Canadians and it's hurting the increasingly fragile integrity of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The segment's brief (5 mins) but well worth a look.

Check it out for yourselves by clicking here.

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  1. Anonymous7:51 am

    Government agencies dig in when they are confronted with embarassing information. Don't hold your breath waiting for a retraction of the HealthCheck program.

  2. Hi Yoni,

    Thanks to your tweet Friday night I caught the CBC Marketplace segment. Coincidentally, I was at a movie theatre the next night and before the movie started, CBC Marketplace actually had an even shorter segment on food labels and such (during the commercials prior to the previews), in which they once again criticized the Health Check system.

    They seem to really have it out for Heart and Stroke...


  3. Hi Peter,

    I didn't know they did commercials in movie theatres!

    Not sure they "have it in" for anyone in particular but certainly they do "have it in" for people and organizations that mislead consumers.


  4. Anonymous10:49 am

    It's unrelated to Health Check, but I'd be curious to hear Dr Yoni's take on this finding linking obesity and ADHD:

  5. Anonymous10:51 am

    Doh, it truncated the URL in the last comment. It's on the main page of today's Globe online.