Health Canada Announces Healthy Eating Strategy

Oct 24, 2016

Today Health Canada announced that they have started a process to revise Canada’s Food Guide to reflect the latest scientific evidence on diet and health, and to better support Canadians in making healthy food choices. This is part of Health Canada's Health Eating Strategy, which outlines among other things,  updates to nutrition labels, improved nutrition quality standards, protection of vulnerable populations and increased access to nutritious foods, and a new approach to communicating with stakeholders. 

The multi-year Healthy Eating Strategy announced by the Minister includes initiatives on: 

  • improving healthy eating information, including revising Canada’s Food Guide 
  • protecting vulnerable populations, including restricting the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children 
  • strengthening labelling and claims, including finalizing changes to the nutrition facts table and list of ingredient requirements by the end of 2016, and consulting on front-of-package labelling for sugars, sodium and saturated fat 
  • improving nutrition quality standards, including reducing sodium in prepackaged and restaurant foods, and consulting on eliminating the use of industrially produced trans fat in foods 
  • supporting increased access to and availability of nutritious foods through the Nutrition North Canada program 

Health Canada also remains committed to openness, transparency and meaningful engagement with the public and stakeholders on healthy eating initiatives. As such, Health Canada is changing the way it communicates with stakeholders. This new approach entails the disclosure of information on stakeholder meetings and correspondence sent to Health Canada outside of formal consultation processes. This approach applies to the following healthy eating initiatives:

  • front-of-package labelling
  • elimination of industrially produced trans fat
  • sodium reduction
  • marketing to kids
  • revision of Canada's Food Guide

During the development of the new food guide, officials from the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion will only seek expert advice from, and consult with, academics, health professional associations, health non-governmental organizations and federal, provincial and territorial officials.  All stakeholders and Canadians will have the opportunity to participate and provide feedback during the public consultations.
More information on the Healthy Eating Strategy and the new approach to communications and openness and transparency with stakeholders is available now.

The public consultation for the Food Guide Revisions is now open and closes December 8, 2016.