Revision process for Canada's food guide

We're revising Canada's food guide so that it meets the needs of different Canadian audiences. Learn about our revision plans.

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About Canada's food guide

Canada's food guide helps you choose foods that:

  • improve health
  • meet nutrient needs
  • reduce risk of nutrition-related chronic (long-term) diseases and conditions

Canada's food guide uses the science of nutrition and health to help you make healthy food choices.

Revision of Canada's food guide

The revision is a multiyear project that is part of our Healthy Eating Strategy.

Our goal has been to:

  • strengthen healthy eating recommendations
  • communicate guidance in ways that better meet the needs of different users, such as:
    • the general public
    • policy makers
    • health professionals

We have built on the best available scientific evidence and on the feedback we've received about past versions of Canada's food guide. This means that we have moved away from the all-in-one format that acted as both a policy and education tool.

For the new Canada's food guide we've developed a suite of tools and resources to make it easier for people to understand and apply the guidance in their daily lives.

The evidence review

From 2013 to 2015, we reviewed the evidence on the:

  • Scientific Basis (links between food, nutrients and health),
  • Canadian Context (what Canadians eat, their health status, and the environment in which they live), and
  • Use of existing Dietary Guidance.

These findings and Health Canada's evidence review process are described in the Evidence Review for Dietary Guidance 2015.

From 2015 to 2018, we continued to review and assess emerging evidence on links between food, nutrients and health. The findings are summarized in Food, Nutrients and Health: Interim Evidence Update 2018.

Health Canada continually monitors the evidence from credible scientific sources to support dietary guidance in Canada. We're committed to using the best and most recent evidence in our decision making. We consider:

  • high-quality, peer-reviewed systematic reviews
  • reports from leading scientific organizations and governmental agencies

Health Canada will update Canada's dietary guidelines, as needed, to ensure the guidance remains consistent with the latest convincing evidence.

Engagement and Consultation

Throughout the revision process, we have engaged with stakeholders and Canadians to ensure Canada's food guide and its resources are:

  • useful
  • understood
  • easy to apply

In fall 2016, we held open consultations with stakeholders and Canadians about their needs and expectations for a revised Canada's Food Guide. The Canada's Food Guide revision: What We Heard Report (Fall 2016) summarizes the almost 20,000 responses that we received.

In spring 2017, we hosted an online stakeholder discussion forum. Participants shared their opinions and engaged in conversation on a series of topics. Key themes from each discussion were summarized for our consideration.

During spring 2017, we conducted focus groups with stakeholders and Canadians to learn how they use healthy eating information.

In summer 2017, we conducted a second open consultation. We asked stakeholders and interested people to provide feedback on our proposed general healthy eating recommendations. The Canada's Food Guide Consultation - Phase 2 What We Heard Report summarizes the responses from approximately 6,700 contributors.

During spring and summer 2018, we conducted extensive focus testing with Canadians and health professionals to help inform the development of tools and resources to communicate Canada's food guide.

Input from stakeholders, experts, and Canadians has been considered in the final recommendations.

During the policy development of the new Canada's food guide, officials from Health Canada's Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion have not met with representatives from the food and beverage industry. However, the online public consultations were open to all stakeholders, including industry.

While the food and beverage industry has a role to play in improving the quality of the foods and beverages they manufacture and promote, it was important to ensure that the development of dietary guidance is free from conflict of interest.

Read more about our policies on the transparency of stakeholder communications for healthy eating initiatives.

New tools and resources

The new Canada's food guide, released in early 2019, is a mobile-friendly web application, which provides Canadians with easier access to dietary guidance. There are also dietary guidelines and considerations for health professionals and policymakers.

Later in 2019, we plan to release a food guide healthy eating pattern for health professionals and policy makers, which will complement the dietary guidelines. This report will provide more information on recommended amounts and types of foods, as well as guidance for life stages. Enhancements will also be made to the content of the Canada's food guide web application for Canadians. New resources and tools will be developed on an ongoing basis to help Canadians apply the new Canada's food guide where they live, learn, work, and play.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples

The new Canada's food guide has been developed to be relevant to all Canadians, as well as be inclusive of Indigenous Peoples.

Health Canada and Indigenous Services Canada are also committed to working with Indigenous peoples to support the development of healthy eating tools for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The current Canada's Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Métis can still be used as a trusted source of information on healthy eating to support Indigenous peoples until new tools are available.

Be informed

Keep up to date on the new Canada's food guide by registering for the Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System. At the 'areas of interest' page, select 'Canada's Food Guide / Nutrition.'

You can email us at nutrition@hc-sc.gc.ca to ask any questions about Canada's food guide.

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