The Government of Canada is asking Canadians to weigh in on the revision of its Food Guide and various points of the future Food Policy.
The three public consultations close at the end of July.
Canada’s food guide: second consultation
In the first consultation phase in fall 2016, almost 20,000 responses were submitted by the general public, professionals and organizations. The Ipsos analysis and report show a keen interest in the food recommendations, in how the latter are used and in ways of increasing their acceptance by consumers. The report also makes practical suggestions on the most useful recommendations, like the amounts of food to eat, the usefulness of food groupings, the level of food processing, and the consumption of sugars.
Based on this report, Health Canada has launched a second consultation focusing on three guiding principles:
- A variety of foods and beverages are the foundation for healthy eating.
This translates into a regular intake of water, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, protein-rich foods, especially plant-based sources of protein (pulses, nuts, seeds, soy products and foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat.
- Processed or prepared foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat undermine healthy eating.
A recommendation to limit the intake of processed or prepared foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat and to avoid processed or prepared beverages high in sugars.
- Knowledge and skills are needed to navigate the complex food environment and support healthy eating.
This recommendation aims to help consumers select nutritious foods when shopping or eating out. The goal being that, in order to develop a positive relationship with food, Canadians get back to planning and preparing balanced meals and snacks at home to share with their families and friends along with the pleasure of eating and cooking. It is also recommended that Canadians take the time to enjoy their food so they can pick up on their hunger and satiety cues. These principles apply in the Canadian context considering the availability of nutritious foods, the cultural preferences and culinary traditions in each community. Lastly, emphasis is placed on the importance of these recommendations for reducing impacts on the environment and food waste.
A food policy for Canada
At the end of May, the Government of Canada launched another consultation on food that highlights the importance of hearing Canadians’ views on developing the country’s first food policy and seeks their input on four key themes relating to the production and supply of quality foods:
- Increasing access to affordable food
- Improving health and food safety
- Conserving our soil, water and air
- Growing more high-quality food
Protecting children from food marketing
As part of its Healthy Eating Strategy, Health Canada produced a discussion paper to help limit the impact of non-nutritious food advertising on children. Interested parties can share their feedback on the government’s proposals for restricting marketing directed at children.
The Government of Canada will make the results of all three consultations accessible online next fall.