While the rest of North America has been letting advertising to young children run rampant, one smart Canadian province took a stand against fast-food companies. 32 years ago, Quebec put a ban on fast-food advertising to kids in electronic and print media. And guess how that turned out?

According to a recent study done by the University of British Columbia as reported by The New York Times, here’s the results.

Researchers found that a 32-year ban on fast-food advertising to kids in electronic and print media in Quebec resulted in a 13 percent reduction in fast-food expenditures and an estimated 2 billion to 4 billion fewer calories consumed by children in the province. While the rest of Canada has been experiencing the same explosion in childhood obesity seen here in the United States, Quebec has the lowest childhood obesity rate in Canada.

That’s just the result from banning fast-food advertising. That doesn’t consider pop and soda, potato ships and sugared cereal. Fast-food is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unhealthy wares marketed to kids. And just look at the results.

This study does more than prove how detrimental fast-food can be to your health. It proves just how effective advertising to children is. It proves just how susceptible our littlest consumers are to that advertising. And it should prove to every parent why we need to seriously consider the messages our kids are getting from the media.

Modern kids see more soda advertising than ever. Marketing spending to promote sugared cereals is still on the rise. 50% of all advertising on children’s shows is for food. Our kids are being bombarded by unhealthy messages. And we now have proof living not too far away from us that these types of advertisements contribute to childhood obesity.

So the question now, is what are parents going to do about it? When are we finally going to stand up for our children and demand that advertisers stop marketing to the most impressionable among us?

(Photo: thaumatrope/Shutterstock)