Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The City of Ottawa Feeds Its Children Junk, Junk and More Junk

Whether it's recreational lessons, figure skating or hockey, I'd venture it's a rare child growing up here in Ottawa who doesn't regularly hit their local City funded and run arenas to skate.

My kids are no exception and this past weekend I decided to take a tour of what the City was offering my kids to eat in the Walter Baker Sport Centre's cafeteria.

Honestly, it was beyond appalling, it's a complete and total embarrassment where the hypocrisy is truly deep fried.

On the one hand we have the City of Ottawa's public health department in their May 2012 report Healthy Eating, Active Living, and Healthy Weights stating,
"Let's work together to create environments that help make the healthier choice, the easier choice."
And on the other hand, there are pretty much no healthful choices being offered for sale in the Walter Baker Sport Centre's cafeteria. Moreover the environment is quite literally designed to make the unhealthy choice the easier choice with a bank of candy machines serving as the cafeteria entrance as well as junk food (candy and chips) taking up the primary counter real estate.  Looking at the menus, there simply aren't healthful choices aside from "salad" - something I didn't actually see there, but again, if the only thing you can point to on a menu as being healthful is salad, your menu simply sucks.  And then of course there are the banks upon banks of vending machines situated it seems every 100-200 ft or so throughout the building.

The hypocrisy is made all the richer given Ottawa's Mayor Jim Watson's former position as Ontario's Minister of Health Promotion.

Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a video walk through of what I saw this past weekend leading me to ask simply, "Where is Health?"

So parents your two choices are clear at Ottawa's publicly funded arenas, and truly there are only two choices - yes to junk food (as that's all they have) or a parental "No".

Gee thanks City of Ottawa. Way to nurture our children.