Canadian schoolchildren will soon be paid to tell their friends what to eat. The scheme, which seeks to recruit kids as young as 12, will have them instructing others to eat more carrots and drink more tap water. One might ask if there is also government money to pay children to tell others that shoelaces should be tied and not left undone.
This advice, along with much more, is taken from the 2019 rewrite of Canada’s Food Guide. It determines the nutritional content of meals served in nursing homes, schools, daycare centres and prisons, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
Upon launch, former Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor claimed that she "wanted to make sure" that the Guide "can be used by all Canadians." With credit to her, she could not have predicted that her successor would have found the money to give children jobs repeating its straightforward pronouncements.
As part of the four-year campaign, The Department of Health will manage these "teens and young adults" as they explain to their peers that sweets and cakes are less healthy than vegetables and fish. Clearly, the government thinks that Canadian parents need them to step in to impart this crucial information.
Thankfully, with a significant recession and job losses across the country, the Department of Health is doing its bit to support child working and has found the tax money for such an important undertaking. As Trudeau boasted earlier this year, the economy will be "reinvented," so we might all have jobs reminding others to eat more vegetables. Or, as the government put it, "engaging youth through their peers will help amplify healthy eating messages among young Canadians and will provide Health Canada the opportunity to develop relevant and meaningful approaches and resources for this audience."
Initially, the Guide, created in 1942, was intended to advise on wartime rationing. Despite being panned by Senators as "at best ineffective" in 2016, it has continued to use tax resources, now including cash for kids, to inform Canadians what we already know.