The Evidence Base

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A range of evidence helped to shape the revised Food Guide. Nutrient standards and the prevention of chronic disease were key scientific inputs.

Research and analysis on issues of both a technical and communications nature were undertaken. Technical matters included addressing issues related to the food groups, number of servings and serving sizes. These technical issues were addressed in part in the context of developing food intake patterns.

Communication matters included issues related to terminology, target audiences and graphics. A range of input including results from focus groups, on-line consultations, regional meetings, the review of the 1992 Food Guide and reviews of literature about the environmental context in which Canadians make food choices contributed to the pool of information used to address communication issues.

Food Intake Pattern Development

The food intake pattern recommended in the revised Food Guide is based on current nutritional science. The pattern has been developed to meet nutrient standards (Dietary Reference Intakes) and to be consistent with evidence linking diet to a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The food intake pattern describes the types and amounts of foods that should be eaten. A brief description of the food intake pattern development is available. In addition, a detailed description of the process used to develop the food intake pattern in the revised Food Guide can be found in the article "Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (2007): Development of the Food Intake Pattern" published in the April 2007 issue of Nutrition Reviews (Vol. 65, Number 4), an international journal that publishes authoritative and critical reviews of significant developments in all areas of nutrition science and policy.

Vitamin D Supplement for People Over 50

The food intake pattern found in Canada's Food Guide recommends consuming 500 mL (2 cups) of milk each day for adequate vitamin D. However, after the age of 50, people's vitamin D needs increase. Obtaining adequate vitamin D from the diet alone, without recommending unrealistic daily amounts of some foods, is very difficult.

Therefore, all adults over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (400 IU) in addition to following Canada's Food Guide.

Further details are available in the Background Paper.

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