Canada signals food policy on the agenda in battle against chronic disease

Canada signals food policy on the agenda in battle against chronic disease

The Canadian government has said it will revise the country's healthy eating guidelines in a bid to better support consumers in "making healthy food choices" as part of its strategy to tackle chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Announcing the move at medical summit, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, federal minister of health Jane Philpott said the government wants to provide "better guidance" that "meets the needs of Canadians". 

"Everyone can agree that eating well, staying active and living a healthy lifestyle are important to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Our government's actions are aimed at ensuring positive and meaningful impacts on the overall health of Canadians for generations to come," she said. 

To this end, regulators are launching a consultation on Health Canada's Food Guide. The department said it wants the new guidelines to reflect the "latest scientific evidence" on diet and health. 

The revision will form part of Canada's multi-year healthy eating strategy. 

The Canadian government has indicated its willingness to take legislative action to tackle dietary issues. In a statement, the department said: "Health Canada will use every tool at its disposal – legislation, regulation, guidance and education – to create conditions to support healthy eating. In addition to revising Canada's Food Guide, the Healthy Eating Strategy outlines how Health Canada will achieve the commitments... related to sodium, trans fat, sugars, food colours, marketing to children, and the Nutrition North Program."