Health Canada Consultations open on Canada’s Food Guide and Restricting Marketing to Children

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 3:32pm

Health Canada recently announced more consultations on two components of its Healthy Eating Strategy–Canada’s Food Guide and Restricting Marketing to Children–and there is a food fight brewing around front-of package labelling between agriculture and health stakeholders.

Canada’s Food Guide

A 45-day consultation was initially opened until July 25, 2017 on the revision of Canada’s Food Guide (Phase 2). However, the consultation was extended until August 14. There are two ways to engage:

  1. Via an online survey;

  2. Via a discussion forum.

In brief, the proposed guiding principles are available here. Below you will find a table of the Proposed Guiding Principes, Recommendations and Considerations (Source: Health Canada).

Its exciting to see in the draft that three important considerations for healthy eating go beyond nutritients and include: determinants of health, cultural diversity, and environment. It will be important to strengthen language and understanding about the connections between healthy eating, food security and local, sustainable food systems in the revised guide.

A summary of the almost 20,000 responses to Phase 1 that were received is also available: Revision to Canada’s Food Guide: What We Heard Report (Fall 2016).

Restricting Marketing to Children

Also until August 14, 2017 Health Canada is seeking input with an online survey on key policy questions related to their proposals around restricting marketing to children including: age of restriction; scope of restriction, and foods and beverages to be restricted. The discussion paper Toward Restricting Unhealthy Food and Beverage Marketing to Children outlines these in detail.

FSC is a member of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, and on their website you can also take action.

Front-of-package labelling

There has been a recent flurry of letters from agriculture and health stakeholders to the Minister of Agriculture related to front-of-package labeling component of the Healthy Eating Strategy. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture and Food & Consumer Products of Canada are concerned that the proposed labels will put “stop” or “yield” style signs on many Canadian-made products, and two letters signed by significant health stakeholder groups have also jumped into the conversation calling for the transparency that front-of-packaging labeling (requiring food products with high levels of sodium, sugar, and/or saturated fat to display information in a quick and easy-to-find format) as one of the tools consumers can to make healthy food choices.


How will this relate to national food policy?

Health Canada has created a compelling infographic about the impacts of unhealthy diet in Canada and how urgent it is to change food environments. The infographic can be downloaded here.

Policies developed within the Healthy Eating Strategy provide a clear opportunity to make much needed links between healthy eating and sustainability in agriculture and support a systems approach for A Food Policy for Canada.

We encourage you to participate in these consultations and to join in the ongoing conversation.

Share what you think about the Healthy Eating Strategy using #EatHealthyCanada


Network group: 
- Private group -