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Children's Health & Safety Association

Issue 43: July 2018

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:05

Proposed New Nutrition Labels to Fight Obesity

Written by 

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, revealed proposed changes to nutritional labelling regulations so that parents can make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

Labels and Nutrition Facts tables (NFt) will contain the following new features.

  • Consistent serving sizes will make it easier for parents to compare nutrient contents of similar foods.
  • Sugar labels will include the amount of sugar, the type of sugar and the percentage daily value.
  • The Nutrition Facts table (NFt) will help people compare similar foods that have more nutrients such as fibre and calcium and less saturated and Trans fats and sodium.
  • New mobile app education tools called ‘My Food Guide’ and ‘Eat Well Plate’ will enable people to follow the suggested dietary intake. ‘Eat Well Plate’ will help people visualize food portions and encourage plates to contain 50% vegetables and fruit. ‘My Food Guide’ will help parents access healthy eating information and offers a user-friendly customized Canada's Food Guide which will help people understand food servings and types of foods to choose for a healthy diet.nutlabel 04
  • People with sensitivities to specific food colours will be relieved to know that manufacturers will be required to list all food colouring agents by their common name within the ingredient list on the label.
  • Pre-packaged fruit and vegetables will contain vitamin and nutrient benefits making it easier for people to make healthy food choices.

“Our Government is breaking new ground with our proposal on the labelling of sugars on foods sold in Canada. Nowhere else in the world will consumers have the kind of information Canadians will have about the sugars contained in the foods they eat. This information will help them understand how much sugar is in a product, whether it’s a little or a lot of sugar, and where the sugar comes from”, says the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health.

nutlabel 06“I am proud of our Government's ongoing efforts to promote healthy eating. We know that healthy eating is integral to preventing nutrition-related chronic diseases, including obesity. We also know that there are real and significant health benefits associated with the use of food labels.”

New Nutritional Facts Education Campaign (NFEC) messages will be displayed on food packaging sold by 21 leading food companies, and will be promoted on in-store material and at retail events through 10 retail chains and independent grocers.

Since 2010, more than 1 billion food products featuring on-package NFEC messaging were distributed across Canada.

nutlabel 08“Canadians need support to make informed choices that influence their health and quality of life, and understanding how to use available nutritional information is an important aspect of the decision-making process," says Dr. Arya M. Sharma,Scientific Director at the Canadian Obesity Network.

Canadians will be consulted on the proposed regulatory changes to the nutrition information on food labels for a 75-day comment period that will end on August 26th.  These changes will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on June 13, 2015.

Ontario’s Making Healthier Choices Act

Ontario is the first province to require food service premises to post calories on menus. 

In May 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care assembled a group of experts to serve on a Healthy Kids Panel to provide advice on how to achieve the government's goal of reducing childhood obesity.

The menu labelling legislation is a key component of the government's Healthy Kids Strategy, which responds to the Healthy Kids Panel's recommendations for reducing childhood obesity.

To help Ontarians make well-informed food choices, fast food chain restaurants will be required to post calories on menus. The ‘Making Healthier Choices Act’ requires that:

  • Calories for standard food and beverage items including alcohol will be posted on menus and menu boards in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and other food service premises with 20 or more locations.
  • Regulated food service premises will post contextual information that will help educate people about their daily caloric requirements.
  • Inspectors will enforce menu-labelling requirements.

Ontario is the first province to require food service premises to post calories on menus.

nutlabel 11The ministry has also consulted with industry and health sector leaders on restricting the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children.

The government increased support for Ontario's Student Nutrition Program by $3 million allowing the creation of more than 250 new breakfast programs over two years. An additional 61,000 children and youth in higher needs communities, including some First Nations, will benefit from this program. 

The government also supports the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program.  Delivered in partnership with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and local Public Health Units, the program provides no-cost servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, in combination with education about healthy eating and physical activity, to school-aged children in Northern Ontario communities. 

Since January 2015, the program has reached 194 schools encompassing 36,500 students in the Porcupine, Algoma and Sudbury districts, and 6,600 children of Aboriginal and First Nation descent.

Ontario Mothers to Receive Supportnutlabel 13

To help babies get the best start in life, Ontario will provide mothers who are breastfeeding with 24 hours a day - seven days a week telephone access support.

Hospitals and community health care organizations will be provided with training, tools, guidance and resources to help them achieve the World Health Organization's Baby-Friendly Initiative designation and adopt clinical best practices in infant feeding.

Support will be provided for women having their first baby, Aboriginal women and women who plan to return to work within six months in population groups that have lower breastfeeding rates. Work is underway to develop evidence-informed prenatal educational information to promote healthy pregnancies and babies, as well as positive parenting.

Ontario has also funded the development and distribution of key prenatal education messages that will be distributed to parents, families, prenatal educators and health intermediaries.

nutlabel 15Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Ontario is offering community resources to help families and children lead healthier lifestyles.

The challenge is providing 45 participating communities with funding, training and other resources over four years to implement community programs and activities.

Local programs will focus on behaviours that can prevent overweight and obesity among children and youth, including healthy eating and physical activity.

Resources

Canada.ca/NutritionFacts

FocusontheFacts.ca

Serving Size

The Percent Daily Value (% DV)

Focus on the Facts - How to use Serving Size and % Daily Value Fact Sheet

Related Products

Canada Gazette, Part I consultation on proposed food label changes

Fact Sheet – Proposed food label changes to the nutrition facts table

Fact Sheet – Proposed food label changes to the list of ingredients

Fact Sheet – Proposed food label changes to serving size

Fact Sheet – Proposed food label changes to sugars information

Build a healthy meal: use the Eat Well Plate

Download the My Food Guide mobile application

Read 5945 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 July 2015 14:37

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