The federal government is currently working on a new version of Canada’s Food Guide. This revision is a multi-year project that’s part of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy.
Health Canada recently released a What We Heard Report summarizing the findings of nearly 20,000 responses gathered through open consultations with stakeholders and Canadians.
Canada’s Food Guide forms the basis of how and what Canadians eat. Food education in school curriculums is based on the Guide’s recommendations, as is the nutrition advice given by doctors and dietitians across the country.
The Guide is also very controversial and has generated fierce lobbying from the food and beverage industry over its contents, and criticism from the scientific and medical community that it doesn’t address the increasing concerns of obesity and diet-related chronic illness. This revision is notable because the federal government is not having private meetings with any representatives from the food and beverage industry. Rather, they are invited to give their feedback during the open consultation process, along with members of the public. As well, Health Canada has stated that they are committed to creating a new Food Guide that is based on recent and high-quality scientific evidence.
Even though the new Canada’s Food Guide hasn’t been released yet, there has already been some controversy and confusion. At least one media outlet reported that the new Food Guide no longer has a dairy category, which is not true. To date, Health Canada has not confirmed whether there will or will not be official food categories as there have been in past versions of the Guide.
The Edmonton Food Council urges everyone to maintain a critical perspective when reading any news reports about Canada’s Food Guide. Make sure to do your own homework and fact-checking on anything reported about the Guide – especially if what’s being said sounds particularly controversial.
The Edmonton Food Council also urges everyone to participate in the government’s second open consultation. The government is asking stakeholders and interested people to provide feedback on their proposed general healthy eating recommendations. This consultation is only open until next Tuesday, July 25, 2017 so be sure to act now and make your voice heard.
For more information on the revision process for Canada’s Food Guide, visit Health Canada’s website here.