Health Canada's healthy eating strategy

Learn how we're working to make the healthier choice the easier choice for Canadians.

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Our healthy eating strategy

We're taking a new approach to healthy eating. Our strategy aims to improve the food environment in Canada to make it easier for Canadians to make the healthier choice. We're:

  • improving healthy eating information
  • improving nutrition quality of foods
  • protecting vulnerable populations
  • supporting increased access to and availability of nutritious foods

Improving healthy eating information

Health Canada is revising Canada's food guide. We have been consulting with interested parties and the public to make sure that new guidance and resources are relevant and useful.

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At the end of 2016, we updated regulations about food labels and their:

These changes will make it easier to compare similar products to make healthier choices.

To help you make healthier food choices, we consulted Canadians in 2016 on front-of-package nutrition information. Another consultation on front-of-package labelling is underway. Your input will help us find the best way to help you make informed decisions on:

  • sugars
  • sodium
  • saturated fat

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Improving nutrition quality of foods

Some Canadians are still eating too much trans fats. We've introduced regulations to ban industrially produced trans fat in foods by September 2018.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods. Sodium reduction is a priority for the Government of Canada. Health Canada evaluated the food industry's efforts to meet voluntary sodium reduction targets that were established in 2012. We will continue to work with food producers to reduce sodium in packaged foods.

We're also working with restaurants and food services to develop goals for reducing sodium in their foods.

Protecting vulnerable populations

Most foods advertised to children are high in:

Children's eating habits are influenced by marketing. To protect children, we're working to restrict marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages.

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Supporting increased access to and availability of nutritious foods

The Nutrition North Canada program is one way in which Canada supports increased access and availability to nutritious foods. The program provides a retail subsidy through Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. This helps make perishable nutritious foods more accessible and affordable to residents of isolated northern communities.

Indigenous Services Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada also provide funding to eligible communities to deliver nutrition education activities to:

  • increase healthy eating knowledge
  • develop skills in selecting and preparing nutritious foods

The Government of Canada is committed to improvements to the Nutrition North Canada program.

Effective October 1, 2016, the Nutrition North Canada program was expanded to an additional 37 isolated northern communities. This change helps more families living in isolated northern communities to access affordable and healthy foods.

The Government held engagement sessions between May and December 2016 with Northerners, Indigenous communities and other stakeholders to seek their input on how the program could be more transparent, cost-effective and culturally appropriate.

Following the public engagement process, the Government of Canada continues to move forward to identify ways to improve the program to work better for Northerners while remaining within budget.

Working together

We need to work together to improve healthy eating across Canada. Please sign up to our Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System (CSIMS) to stay engaged with:

  • meetings
  • webinars
  • publications
  • consultations
  • policy documents

Formal written responses to consultations will be summed up in reports that will be publicly available. Individual responses may be released by request under the Access to Information Act.

All other healthy eating related correspondence and documents from meetings with stakeholders are published monthly online.

This includes meetings and correspondence in which opinions and information (including requests for information) are relayed with the intent to inform the development of policies, guidelines and regulations.

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.

‎If you want to know more about our healthy eating strategy, contact us by email.

Consultations

Current consultation

Past consultations

Reports and publications

Related information

Features

Food front-of-package labelling

Provide input on proposed front-of-package labelling

Healthy eating for children

Restricting marketing of unhealthy foods to children

Consultation on Canada's food guide

Provide input on healthy eating habits.

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