Revision process for Canada's food guide

We’re revising  Canada’s food guide so that it meets the needs of different Canadian audiences. Learn about our revision plans and how you can provide feedback.

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About Canada's food guide

The current version of Canada's food guide was last updated in 2007. It helps Canadians choose foods that:

  • improve health
  • meet nutrient needs
  • reduce risk of nutrition-related chronic (long-term) diseases and conditions

The guide uses the science of nutrition and health to give Canadians direction on making healthy food choices.

Revision of Canada's food guide

From 2013 to 2015, we reviewed the evidence for dietary guidance. The review indicated that:

  • there are challenges in understanding and applying certain aspects of guidance
    • for example, using food guide servings and recommendations to create healthy meals and snacks
  • the current format isn't meeting the needs of all audiences
    • for example, some audiences want more detail while others would prefer less
  • the scientific basis for the 2007 guide is largely consistent with the latest diet and health evidence

We need to strengthen our dietary guidance for some topic areas. For example, there's evidence that the replacement of saturated fat with unsaturated fat may decrease the risk of heart disease. We also know that there's a relationship with high intakes of sugar sweetened beverages and an increased risk of obesity.

About the revision

We want to build on the best available scientific evidence and on the feedback we’ve received about the current food guide. This means that we will be moving away from the all-in-one format that acts as both a policy and education tool.

Our goal is to:

  • strengthen healthy eating recommendations
  • communicate guidance in ways that better meet the needs of different users, such as:
    • the general public
    • policy makers
    • health professionals

We're developing new products to promote health and reduce the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases, including:

  • a dietary guidance policy report that provides clear, concise and evidence-based recommendations
  • healthy eating patterns that recommend amounts and types of foods
  • tools and approaches to help communicate the guidance in relevant and useful ways

The revision is a multiyear project that's part of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy.

We're committed to using the best evidence in our decision making. Building on the dietary guidance evidence review, we will continue to monitor the most recent data. Health Canada recognizes the importance of understanding the totality of the evidence base. We consider only:

  • high-quality, peer-reviewed systematic reviews
  • reports from leading scientific organizations and governmental agencies

During the revision process, the food guide can continue to be used as a trusted source of information on healthy eating.

Engagement with stakeholders, the public and industry

Engaging stakeholders and the general public will ensure the new food guide resources meet the needs of the various end users.

In line with this commitment, Health Canada invites all stakeholders and Canadians to provide submissions in response to formal consultations, which will be summarized in reports, such as a Summary of Comments and What we Heard Report, which are made publically available.

In addition, Health Canada will publish a table of all correspondence, other than submissions to a formal consultation, and all meetings with stakeholders in which views, opinions and information (including requests for information) are relayed with the intent to inform the development of policies, guidance or regulations related to healthy eating initiatives.

The table will include the date, subject and purpose of the meetings and correspondence. The title of any document provided during meetings will also be published.

Oral or written communication for the purposes of making simple enquiries or requests for information and that do not have any relevance, in Health Canada's view, to the development of policies related to healthy eating will not be published. This new approach will help improve public trust, openness and transparency around stakeholder engagement activities related to healthy eating initiatives beyond formal consultation processes.

Note that during the policy development phase of the new food guide, officials from the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion will only seek expert advice from:

  • academics
  • health professional associations
  • federal, provincial and territorial officials
  • non-governmental organizations interested in health

We will conduct open consultations with all stakeholders and Canadians to ensure new dietary guidance resources are useful and relevant.

Key dates

The revision of Canada’s food guide will be completed in phases.

In late 2017, we will release:

  • an online dietary guidance policy report for health professionals and policy  makers
  • supporting key messages and resources for Canadians

In late 2018, we will release new:

  • healthy eating patterns (recommended amounts and types of foods)
  • resources for Canadians

How you can get involved

Participate in our first public consultation.

Be informed about consultations on the revision of Canada's food guide by registering for the Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System. At the 'areas of interest' page, select 'Canada's Food Guide / Nutrition.'

If you have any questions about the revision, you can email us at nutrition@hc-sc.gc.ca.

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