Most Canadians Want The Government To Take Action In Fight Against Child Obesity
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Toronto, ON – A new Ipsos Reid study conducted on behalf of CanWest Global reports that large majorities of Canadians would support new government measures in the battle against child obesity, specifically:
- 84% support the idea of introducing “a new regulation that requires doctors to tell parents if their child is clinically overweight or obese” (52% strongly support this idea); and
- 79% support the idea of developing “a new federal health program that informs parents about how to tell if their child is at an unhealthy weight” (43% strongly support this idea).
But, Canadians are less receptive towards the idea of a potential ‘junk-food’ tax. Forty-five percent support introducing “a special tax on snack foods, such as potato chips, candy and chocolate, to discourage people from buying them” (25% strongly support) versus 53% who oppose this idea (36% strongly oppose).
And when asked to choose from a list, Canadians are most likely to say the major reason why parents in Canada have overweight and obese children is:
- “Parents don’t know what they should do to control their child’s weight” (33%); followed by
- “Parents don’t know about the negative health consequences of their child being overweight or obese” (25%); while others feel
- “Parents are afraid they may cause psychological damage to their child if they discuss weight issues with them”(17%); and
- Parents with obese children “don’t realize their child is overweight” (14%).
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest/Global and fielded from November 14-16th, 2006. For the survey, a representative sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. The sample used in this study has been weighted according to Census data to accurately reflect the population Canadians. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population.
Strong Support For Informing Parents About Their Child's Obesity, But Canadians Split When It Comes To Potential ‘Junk Food’ Tax…
- Residents of Atlantic Canada are more likely than other Canadians to support each of the three measures. Most notably, 62% in Atlantic Canada strongly support “a new federal health program that informs parents about how to tell if their child is at an unhealthy weight” (vs. 43% of all Canadians).
- University graduate as a little less likely than Canadians on the whole to support “a new regulation that requires doctors to tell parents if their child is clinically overweight or obese” (80% vs. 84% in Canada overall) and are more likely to strongly oppose such a policy (19% vs. 15% overall).
- When it comes to “a special tax on snack foods, such as potato chips, candy and chocolate, to discourage people from buying them”, a slight majority in Atlantic Canada (57%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (54%) support the tax, while Albertans (38%) are the least likely to support this potential measure.
- Younger adults age 18-34 are the most likely to support the ideas of “a new regulation that requires doctors to tell parents if their child is clinically overweight or obese” (91% vs. 82% among those age 35 and over); and “a new federal health program that informs parents about how to tell if their child is at an unhealthy weight” (86% vs. 77% among those age 35 and older).
One In Three Say Parents In Canada Have Overweight/Obese Children Because They Don't Know How To Control Their Child's Weight…
- Residents in Atlantic Canada (46%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (45%) are the most likely to point to the suggestion that “parents don’t know what they should do to control their child’s weight, while those in British Columbia (29%) are the least likely to choose this reason.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Dr. Glenys A. Babcock
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
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