On January 22, 2019, Health Canada released long-awaited updates to Canada’s Food Guide.
Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) is pleased to see these evidence-based guidelines focused on encouraging healthier diets and stemming the growth of diet-related disease in Canada.
CFCC applauds Health Canada for committing to a process free from food industry influence, and for putting public health ahead of industry profit. In particular, we’re happy to see a focus on balanced diets largely free of foods high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat; the replacement of sugary drinks like juice and chocolate milk with water; and a shift toward plant-based proteins.
Another critical step forward is the inclusion of advice not only on what we eat but how we eat — cooking more at home, enjoying food, and eating with others — which, taken together, encourage a more communal and healthful approach to eating.
Many of these recommendations, including a focus on food skills and the power of sharing food with others, have long been at the heart of our work. But, as we see every day at Community Food Centres across Canada, people who live on low incomes face significant barriers to eating well, among them lack of money, adequate cooking facilities, and time.
“Along with these important new guidelines, Health Canada has also acknowledged that far too many Canadians can’t afford to eat a healthy diet. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that all Canadians can put nutritious and culturally appropriate foods on the table for themselves and their families,” says Nick Saul, President and CEO of CFCC. “Four million Canadians face food insecurity every day. We will continue to push for policies that reduce poverty and food insecurity and ensure that healthy diets are attainable for all Canadians.”
The new Canada’s Food Guide brings nutritional guidance into the 21st century and, along with the other components of the Healthy Eating Strategy
, could go a long way to turn the tide on unhealthy eating and the growth of diet-related disease. We eagerly await progress on the two other pillars of the Strategy: new front-of-package labelling for foods high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat; and legislation to restrict the marketing of junk food to children.
Media contact: Kennedy Baker, Community Food Centres Canada 416 531 8826 ext. 228 | firstname.lastname@example.org