Letter: Action to Reduce Sugary Sweets and Beverages at Toys R Us

This month EPODE Canada Managing Director, Dennis Edell, wrote a letter to Toys R Us asking that they remove sugary sweets and sugar sweetened beverages from high traffic areas in their store.

As of July 6th 2016, we have not yet received a response.

Dear Toys R Us 

We want to call your attention to the Toys R Us store environment that prominently promotes sugary sweets and sugar added beverages in high traffic areas highly visible to the millions of children and parents that visit your stores every day. I am sure as a children-focused business you are aware of the contribution of excess sugar to the shocking epidemic of childhood obesity. Not only are overweight and obese children less healthy but their mental health is also effected. Obese children often grow up to be obese adults.  The WHO calls obesity the greatest health challenge of the twenty-first century. 

The EPODE International Network is the world’s largest network of childhood obesity prevention programs. We have programs running in over 30 countries that have demonstrated the ability to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity.  As a child-centred business we are sure that you must share our concern with rising rates of obese and overweight children. 

We live in an obesogenic environment in which Children are influenced by their environment. Canada’s Food Guide recommends limiting food and drinks that are high in sugar. You would not sell products that are unsafe for children. Now that you are aware of the harmful effects of excess sugar on children’s health will Toys R Us take action to eliminate exposure to unhealthy foods in your stores and promote healthier choices?

We look forward to your response. 

Dennis Edell
Managing Director EPODE Canada 
Treasurer, The EPODE International Network