Record of Proceedings

Nutrition Science Advisory Committee (NSAC)
Second virtual meeting

February 26th 2021, 1:30-4:00 pm Eastern time
Agenda Item Summary
Welcome & Declarations of Affiliations and Interests

The Executive Secretary, Ed Morgan, welcomed participants to the second meeting of the Nutrition Science Advisory Committee (NSAC). He updated the Committee on the launch of the NSAC website and noted the recent establishment by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council.

The Committee Co-Chairs reminded members of Health Canada's transparency approach for the Committee, confirmed that there were no changes to members' affiliations and interests since the inaugural meeting, and sought approval of the meeting agenda, which had three objectives:

  1. To review and approve the record of proceedings from the inaugural meeting.
  2. To discuss the Committee's forward plan.
  3. To seek feedback from members on components of Health Canada's Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance.
Approval of Record of Proceedings of the Inaugural Meeting, November 18, 2020

The record of proceedings was approved without changes.

Setting the Stage: Discussion and Decision on Proposed Forward Plan

The Co-Chairs provided a brief presentation to help inform a discussion with members on developing a forward plan for the Committee over the short-to-medium term. The presentation included a high-level mapping of topics suggested by members at the inaugural meeting against themes outlined in the Committee's terms of reference, as well as potential topics proposed by Health Canada. The Co-Chairs then opened up the floor for discussion.

The Committee had an open discussion on the proposed topics and sought clarification on Health Canada's interests in the topics as well as procedural considerations to bring forward topics. The Co-Chairs agreed to discuss these matters further with Health Canada prior to the next Committee meeting.

Health Canada Presentation: Evidence Review Cycle for Dietary Guidance Used to Inform the 2019 Canada's Food Guide

Health Canada provided members with an overview of the department's Evidence Review Cycle (ERC) for Dietary Guidance, with a particular emphasis on how evidence on links between food, nutrients and health is reviewed to inform dietary guidance, such as Canada's Food Guide. The Committee was provided with information on how this evidence is gathered and assessed, including inclusion and exclusion criteria and how the health outcomes and predictors/exposures in scope of the review were determined. Members were advised that their views were being solicited as the department looks to refine and enhance its approach to reviewing evidence within the ERC.

Roundtable: Discussion on Health Canada Presentation

Members were asked targeted questions with respect to the parameters that should be considered when gathering and assessing scientific evidence on links between food, nutrients and health, especially with respect to:

  1. identifying the health outcomes in scope for the review of food, nutrients and health relationships, and
  2. identifying dietary predictors/exposures in scope for the review of food, nutrients and health relationships

Following a short question and answer session with the presenters, the Co-Chairs facilitated a discussion to solicit Committee members' views on these questions. The discussion ended with an acknowledgement from both the presenters and members that the discussion brought forward helpful considerations for Health Canada.

Roundtable: Info Sharing & Learning

The Co-Chairs led an informal discussion for members to share brief overviews of their experiences and expertise, with the intent of identifying member skillsets and interests as well as strengths that can be leveraged when delivering on the Committee's mandate.

Closing Remarks & Wrap Up

The Co-Chairs thanked members for their active participation.

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