Doctors in Ontario want to dissuade the public from buying junk foods and calorie laden drinks, like pop, by imposing new rules that would require new warning labels on the packaging, similar to the graphics seen on cigarette packs.
The campaign, launched by the Ontario Medical Association on Tuesday,(OMA), claims an aggressive approach needs to be taken against the obesity epidemic, using similar tools that have been used in discouraging smoking.
“We need to treat obesity like the public health epidemic that it is and we need to apply the lessons learned from those anti-tobacco initiatives and use them to fight obesity,” said Dr. Doug Weir from the Ontario Medical Association.
As a result, doctors in Ontario are suggesting graphic warnings, like the one's tobacco companies must print in cigarette packages, be displayed on on high-calorie, low-nutritional foods.
With one in three Canadian children now overweight, or obese, the medical group is pushing hard for change. As these numbers climb, so do potential risk factors for disease, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The OMA campaign also called for higher taxes on sugary and fatty foods, lower taxes on healthier foods and restrictions on sales of junk foods in sport venues and recreational facilities frequented by children and teens.
"If we don't do something about this now, we're going to have a tidal wave of the consequences of those conditions," Weir added.
Currently, it's estimated extra health-care costs attributed to obesity is around $2.5 billion, the association revealed.
The results of the OMA's findings raised some eyebrows, including some remarks that food isn't tobacco. However, some experts within the association maintain their point of view that governments need to act, suggesting consumers may not be able to tackle the problem on their own.