Canada's Food Guide - Key - © Health Canada

De-Politicise Canada’s Food Guide: Critics

It’s been almost ten years since Canada’s Food Guide, the official Health Canada nutrition guide for families and institutions, was revised, to keep up to date with evolving food preferences and developments in biological and medical science. And critics want the next version to be more objective…

Canada's Food Guide - © Health Canada

Indeed, critics of Canada’s Food Guide charge that Health Canada is too chummy with Food Processing industry and Agriculture sector players and that these outside influences warp the nutritional recommendations published by Health Canada.

This is nothing new.

Producer, Grower and Processor other groups with vested interests have been lobbying Health Canada for decades. I remember overhearing a conversation 30 years ago, at the next table in the coffee shop, in which someone who was apparently a representative of the Egg producers told another party that his organization was pressing Health Canada hard, to include more servings of Eggs in the new edition of the official dietary recommendations, and the deadline for revisions to close was precariously near…

That aside, who in the Agriculture sector wouldn’t want the Lord High Authority on Nutrition to recommend that folks eat more of their product? I’d hate to be one of the people at health Canada who has to make the final decisions.

It’s ‘badly broken’…

“Fruit juice, for instance, is presented as a healthy item when it is little more than a soft drink without the bubbles,” a recent Senate of Canada report baldly stated. And that doesn’t even touch on Fruit ‘drinks, which might contain some juice but commonly contain a lot of added sugar, colourings and flavourings.

Ottawa physician and obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff told the CBC this week that the current version of Canada’s Food Guide is, “fully broken.” That’s pretty harsh. But he went on to point out areas, including Fats, Grains and Dairy Products, which are lagging far behind contemporary nutritional wisdom.

Health Canada, for it’s part, says the Guide, last revised in 2007, is currently under review with a new version expected out within the year.

We’ll see what it has to say…

~ Maggie J.