Record of Proceedings

Nutrition Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) Fifth Virtual Meeting
December 7, 2021 - 1:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Agenda Item Summary
Welcome & Declarations of Affiliations and Interests The Committee Co-Chairs welcomed participants to the fifth NSAC meeting and the third in a series of meetings on the topic of, “Monitoring to discern and understand new and emerging trends impacting the nutritional health of Canadians”. The meeting had two objectives:
  1. Discuss and provide advice on how to bring the ‘what’ and ‘how’ to monitor together, using Health Canada’s Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance (“ERC”) as an example.
  2. Seek Committee members’ feedback on a short-term forward plan.

The meeting agenda was approved without changes.

The Co-Chairs reminded Members of Health Canada’s transparency approach for the Committee and the importance of declaring Members’ affiliations and interests before each meeting to help meet the Committee’s goal of providing the best independent advice. New affiliations and interests were noted.

Approval of Record of Proceedings from Fourth Meeting The Record of Proceedings from the fourth meeting was approved without changes.
Approval of Motion to update the Committee’s Terms of Reference The Committee approved a motion to update the NSAC’s Terms of Reference to recognize the transfer of the NSAC Secretariat from the Policy, Planning and International Affairs Directorate (PPIAD) to the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (ONPP).
Monitoring: Focus on Canadian Context input of the Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance To set the stage for the discussion, the Committee heard a presentation on the “Canadian context” input area of Health Canada’s Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance. Staff in ONPP:
  • provided a brief overview of Health Canada’s decision-making framework the Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance (ERC); specifically: scientific basis, the Canadian context and the use of existing dietary guidance;
  • presented data sources within the Canadian context input area by various data domains;
  • described how the previous NSAC’s recommendations are already being implemented and what data sources to explore further.

Following a brief discussion to address issues of clarification, the Co-Chairs thanked the presenters and acknowledged the presentation provided valuable considerations for the Committee’s focused discussion to follow.

Focused Discussion: ERC – Canadian context

Building on the information presented by Health Canada, the Co-Chairs led a focussed discussion with the Committee to provide clear, concrete advice on how to bring the “what to monitor” and “how to be more responsive in monitoring” together, using Health Canada’s ERC as an example.

Advice was captured around three targeted themes:

  • How can Canadians facing health inequities, or groups generally under-represented, be better reflected?
  • Are there other elements that should be considered in the evidence base informing dietary guidance?
  • How can different types of evidence (e.g., national level data and cohort studies) be better used and integrated into the evidence base informing dietary guidance?

Areas of discussion included involvement of people with lived and living experiences in framing questions; considering broader framing of Canadian context; leveraging heterogeneous and disaggregated data.

Focused Discussion: Moving Forward in 2022 The NSAC Co-Chairs and Executive Secretary stimulated thinking on forward agenda topics, reflecting recurring topics over recent meetings (e.g., attention to equity, diversity and inclusion in science activities) and consideration for identifying emerging scientific issues.
Forward Agenda & Closing Remarks

The Secretariat will seek input on potential dates for the next meeting.

The Co-Chairs thanked Members for their active participation.

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