New Guideline for Lifelong Female Nutrition, A Modern Prescription for Health Care Professionals

Jun 16, 2016

Vancouver, June 16, 2016--The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaeologists (SOGC) today announced the publication of the long-awaited guideline, the Canadian Consensus on Female Nutrition: Adolescence, Reproduction, Menopause and Beyond (PROVIDE LINK)  It was presented at the SOGC’s Annual Clinical and Scientific Conference being held in Vancouver from June 14-17, 2016.

This comprehensive document summarizes the most recent clinical and scientific research available to assist health care professionals with the basic knowledge and tools they need to provide nutrition guidance to women throughout their lifecycle.

“Nutrition was not even in the curriculum when I was in medical school,” says Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO, SOGC. “Today the consequences of poor nutrition fill our offices. Our female patients look to physicians for advice, and are more likely to attempt lifestyle changes to combat obesity, for example, if that recommendation comes from their doctor. This guideline will open discussions with our female patients and facilitate referrals to other health care professionals, such as dietitians. Frankly it should be as close to hand as a doctor’s prescription pad.”

The guideline was written collaboratively by a Nutrition Working Group that included dietitians, researchers and experts in woman’s health.  It is endorsed by Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses and the Canadian Nutrition Society.

“All health care professionals can support women by understanding the basics of dietary guidance and screening for potential issues, “ says Misty Rossiter, one of the  dietitian authors in the Nutrition Working Group and a member of Dietitians of Canada. “This guideline supports an interdisciplinary approach to women’s health and reinforces the importance of nutrition throughout the lifecycle.”

The guideline makes 40 nutritional recommendations in all, through five key stages in a woman’s life including adolescence, preconception, pregnancy, postpartum/lactation, and menopause. It also recognizes that a healthy diet in women is influenced by factors such as food habits, availability and accessibility of food, ethnicity and culture, geography as well as education; collectively the “food environment”. The “food environment” for women living in remote areas and for those with limited financial resources are of particular concern. Health care providers must consider these issues when discussing food and nutrition concerns with their patients.

“Considering all of the factors that influence a woman’s food choices and how we can help women navigate challenges, during office visits and through referrals to dietitian counselling, is a new way of thinking for some physicians,” says Dr. Blake. “Having all of this dietary information summarized in one place fills a gap for health care professionals and provides a baseline reference we can use to talk about nutrition with women.”


The SOGC is one of Canada’s oldest national specialty organizations. Established in 1944, the Society’s mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and education. The SOGC represents obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working in the field of sexual reproductive health.  For more information visit

About Dietitians of Canada

Dietitians of Canada is the national professional association for dietitians, representing 6,000 members at the local, provincial and national level. As the voice of the profession, Dietitians of Canada strives for excellence in advancing health through food and nutrition.

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