Health Minister Jean Philpott has unveiled changes to Canada’s Federal Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Listing labeling for all packaged foods sold in the country. The strategy is aimed at fighting Obesity, addressing consumer requests for simpler food labeling and clarified nutrition information…
The labeling changes are the the latest phase in the Healthy Eating Strategy which was announced earlier this fall with the launch of the new, revised Canada’s Food Guide. The official news release sums up the of the overall initiative:
“It lays out how Health Canada will deliver on the Government’s commitment to … provide consumers with more information about sugars and food colours, and introduce restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.”
It’s all about helping Canadians make healthier eating choices.
Among the changes mandated:
- All ingredients that fall under the broad umbrella of ‘Sugars will be listed together so consumers will be aware of the total Sugar in products.
- Additives such as food colourings, to which consumers may be allergic or sensitive, will, be identified separately by their proper names rather than being grouped under one term, such as ‘colour’.
- Rather than simply stating the percentage of nutrients in a product as a percentage of your daily recommended intake, ‘rules of thumb’ will be added, such as, “5 per cent is a little, 15 per cent is a lot.”
- Health Canada is also moving toward ‘front of package’ labeling to give nutrition information a higher profile and make it easier for consumers to compare similar products based on nutrition issues.
But that’s not all!
The Healthy Eating Strategy is also pushing to eliminate the use of Transfats in food products and reduce the prevalence of serious diet-related diseases. Four out of five Canadians will contract cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. One out of every six is already overweight and one out of three is clinically obese.
Labeling regulations are just one way the government is trying to reduce the amount of Sugar, Salt and Saturated Fats in the Canadian diet.
I say, anything that makes decyphering those Nutrition Facts Labels is a good thing!.
~ Maggie J.