moved for leave to introduce Bill C-257, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (sugar content labelling).
Mr. Speaker, as the health critic for the New Democratic Party, it gives me great pleasure to introduce this bill today, with thanks to the hon. member for Windsor West for seconding the bill.
The bill, as stated, would amend the Food and Drugs Act to require that all prepackaged foods prominently display the sugar content on the front of the product. As all members would know, the current nutritional guide box is on the back of the product, and it does not adequately indicate this important element.
The bill would empower consumers to make healthier choices by providing them with better information.
The prepackaged foods filling grocery aisles across Canada these days have too much sugar in them. This is a major driver of the growing obesity rates among Canadians, particularly young Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, one in five Canadians are now considered obese. The Public Health Agency of Canada states that these rates have doubled since 1981, and of course excess weight causes a number of major health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and other serious illnesses.
More information means better choices. It means healthier Canadians. I hope all members would support me and vote in favour of this important bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)