Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Ontario) endorsed the work of this panel. Now cabinet needs to enable it. Minister Matthews' challenge is laid out: (1) Start all kids on the path to health. (2) Change the food environment. (3) Create healthy communities.
As I am working my way through the book "Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked us" by Michael Moss, I dare to hope that the government's cabinet ministers and policy managers will read it too. It helps define challenges that boggle the mind. The government's battle with the food industry will face deep-seated strategies focused on taste and driven by competition. The cost has been large. One industry insider estimated that social costs traced to obesity (and so the food we eat) at $100,000,000,000 a year. And that was 1999. The focus needs to shift to nutrition and health and still work within a competitive market environment. It will take a commitment from industry as well as all levels of government, employers, schools, retailers, advertising agencies, media and individuals of all ages.

Obesity and child health are complex issues. This book is "intended as a wake-up call to the issues and tactics at play in the food industry, to the fact that we are not helpless in facing them down. We have choices . . ."

This book lays out the stark reality of our food environment. The Minister's panel has a work plan. That's a good place to start.