Updates to Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating will reflect the country's multicultural make-up, health minister Ujjal Dosanjh has announced.

The minister has asked Health Canada to continue to look into options to better reflect the ethnic diversity of the country.

As part of the work to revise Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating, Health Canada is considering the changing cultural profile of the country, it said. Information has already been compiled on immigration, ethnic origins and language.

Social and environmental factors such as changing family structure, an aging population, and increased home and work pressures, will also be taken into account in updating the Food Guide.

"The multicultural make-up of Canada is rich and diverse. As such, revisions to Canada's Food Guide will need to embrace the variety and depth of foods available to Canadians," Dosanjh said. "By making sure the new Food Guide is relevant to people of all cultures, we not only ensure its inclusiveness but we also provide all Canadians with a vast array of food selections that broadens and enhances their healthy food choices."

Regional meetings and public involvement continue to help shape the next version of the Food Guide which is expected in the spring of 2006. Health Canada is holding public meetings across the country this month to seek input on the direction of the guidance they provide to Canadians on healthy eating. Separate stakeholder consultations are planned for the fall of 2005 to discuss specific content issues related to the revision of the Food Guide. Throughout the revision, Health Canada is committed to consulting with all stakeholders, including non-government organizations, academics, consumers and industry.

Canada's Food Guide was first produced in 1942 as a nutritional guide. Since then, it has been transformed many times -- it has adopted new names, new looks, and new messages, yet has never wavered from its original purpose of guiding food selection and promoting the nutritional health of Canadians.