Health Canada, a Canada-based department responsible for national public health, proposed a front-of-package nutrition symbol to alert Canadians about unhealthy food and beverage products.
"Millions of Canadians are living with diet-related disease, taking a huge toll on their health and their families," says Yves Savoie, chief executive officer of Heart & Stroke, a Canadian charity dedicated to advocacy, education and the funding of research surrounding heart disease and stroke. "Adding a clearly visible and easy-to-understand symbol on the front of unhealthy food and beverage packages will help steer people away from these products and support them to make healthy choices."
The rollout of other elements of the strategy, notably revisions to the food guide and legislation restricting unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children, will further support Canadians and their families.
"We know from recent research we commissioned that Canadians are getting half of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods, and this figure is even higher for some of our children who are unfortunately the biggest consumers of these unhealthy options," says Savoie. "We need strong policies to change our food environment and to make the healthy choices the easier choices."
Other elements of a multi-pronged approach to help Canadians eat better include better access to healthy, affordable food, including in rural and remote regions, access to safe drinking water in all communities, increased public awareness, food literacy and building food preparation skills.