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 and how you can provide feedback.
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About Canada's Food Guide
The current version of Canada's Food Guide was last updated in 2007. It helps you choose foods that:
- improve health
- meet nutrient needs
- reduce risk of nutrition-related chronic (long-term) diseases and conditions
The food guide uses the science of nutrition and health to help you make healthy food choices.
Revision of Canada's food guide
From 2013 to 2015, we reviewed the evidence for dietary guidance. The review indicated that:
- there are challenges in understanding and applying certain aspects of guidance
- for example, using food guide servings and recommendations to create healthy meals and snacks
- the current format isn't meeting the needs of all audiences
- for example, some audiences want more detail while others would prefer less
- the scientific basis for the 2007 guide is generally consistent with the latest evidence on nutrition and health
However, there are topics that need changing and strengthening, such as:
- the replacement of saturated fat with unsaturated fat, which may decrease the risk of heart disease
- high intakes of sugar sweetened beverages that are related to an increased risk of obesity
About the revision
The revision is a multiyear project that is part of our Healthy Eating Strategy.
Our goal is 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 want to build on the best available scientific evidence and on the feedback we've received about the current food guide. This means that we will be moving away from the all-in-one format that acts as both a policy and education tool.
We're developing new products to promote health and reduce the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases, including:
- healthy eating patterns that recommend amounts and types of foods
- tools and approaches to help communicate the guidance in relevant and useful ways
- a dietary guidance policy report with recommendations on healthy food choices and eating behaviours that are:
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
During the revision process, the current food guide can be used as a trusted source of information on healthy eating.
Revision of Canada's Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis
We will develop tools for Indigenous populations to support the updated dietary guidance resulting from Canada's Food Guide revision. We will work with our First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners and stakeholders to guide the direction and development of the tools.
In this early phase, we are undertaking work to inform next steps for engagement and identification of needs and priorities.
Broader engagement is being planned for winter 2018.
The aim is to release Indigenous tools in spring 2019.
Engagement with stakeholders, the public and industry
We have been engaging with stakeholders and Canadians to ensure the new food guide and resources will be:
- 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 the policy development of the new Canada's Food Guide, officials from Health Canada's Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion will not be meeting 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, we must 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.
The revision of Canada's Food Guide will be completed in phases.
In 2018, we will release:
- Part 1 of the new dietary guidance policy report for health professionals and policy makers, which will consist of general healthy eating recommendations
- supporting key messages and resources for Canadians
In 2019, we will release:
- Part 2 of the new dietary guidance policy report, which will consist of healthy eating patterns (recommended amounts and types of foods)
- additional resources for Canadians
Keep up to date on the revision of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to:
- request a PDF copy of the:
- guiding principles
- draft recommendations
- evidence base summary presented in the consultation
- ask any questions about the revision
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