OTTAWA -- Canadians are struggling with high rates of chronic diseases. Two in five Canadian adults report having one of the most common chronic diseases, which include heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Even more worrisome, some of these chronic conditions are starting to show up in our children.
Also read, Half of Canadian's daily calories come from ultra-processed foods, research finds.
The Government of Canada is taking action to make it easier for Canadians to make healthier food choices. Poor diets – including those that are high in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat – are a primary risk factor for diseases such as cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Processed foods are a major source of sodium, sugars and saturated fat in our diets. Research indicates that Canadians consume too much of these nutrients. For example, approximately 8 in 10 Canadians consume too much sodium. This number is even higher in children. Almost 1 in 2 Canadians eat too much saturated fat. Health Canada brought in regulations last year to update the Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients to make it easier for Canadians to use and understand them.
The Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced that Health Canada will launch consultations on regulations for a new front-of-package nutrition symbol on food. This is part of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy.
"The consultations launched are geared towards helping Canadians make healthier food choices. Identifying foods that are high in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat is not always easy, and this front-of-package symbol will make it clearer while shopping for groceries. I invite all Canadians to participate in the process by giving us feedback on the proposed symbols," said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.
Every day, Canadians make hundreds of food choices, often in a matter of seconds, and the front of a food package is the first place they look for information. A front-of-package symbol will provide a clear visual cue that a food is high in nutrients of public health concern, such as sodium, sugars, or saturated fat. This symbol will complement the Nutrition Facts table on the back or side of the food package.
In order to receive feedback from Canadians before making a final decision on the symbol that will appear on foods high in nutrients of public concern, Health Canada launched consultations on the proposed front-of-package symbol earlier today.
A front-of-package symbol represents significant and important progress towards achieving the goals of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, which takes a reasonable and responsible approach to addressing chronic disease in Canada.
SOURCE Health Canada
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