Canadian Health Measures Survey

The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is the most comprehensive, direct measures health survey conducted in Canada. The survey is designed to represent the Canadian population and address important data gaps and limitations in existing health information by:

  • collecting information on the general health and lifestyles of Canadians through interviews and direct physical measurements (for example, height and weight), and
  • providing information on chronic and infectious disease, physical fitness, nutrition, and other factors that influence health

The CHMS also includes a biomonitoring component, in which blood and urine samples are collected to provide information on chronic and infectious diseases, nutrition and environmental exposures. Of these, nutritional biomarkers contribute valuable information to the assessment of nutritional status.

Each cycle of the CHMS samples approximately 5,000 people over a two year period producing reliable estimates at the national level. In the first cycle, which took place between March 2007 to February 2009, data were collected from approximately 5,600 Canadian males and females between the ages of 6 and 79 years. More information on the CHMS is available from  Statistics Canada.

Nutrition Biomarkers

What are nutrition biomarkers?

Nutrition biomarkers are among a number of the general health and lifestyle measures collected in the biomonitoring component of the CHMS. Nutrition biomarkers are measures of nutritional status in the body, usually measured in blood or urine.

Data collected by these measures help assess inadequate or excess intake of certain nutrients and the relationship between nutritional status and certain health outcomes. Together with information on what Canadians are eating, their use of supplements, and factors that influence their food and nutrition choices, data from nutrition biomarkers contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the nutritional concerns in the population.

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