Today, as part of Health Canada’s ongoing commitment to the Healthy Eating Strategy (HES), the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced a 75-day stakeholder consultation on proposed regulations for front-of-package labelling (FOP) on food and beverage products, as well as a separate but concurrent consultation on four potential FOP symbols. Diabetes Canada supports Health Canada’s initiative to better inform Canadians about the foods they eat. The proposed regulations will offer simple, clear messaging about the sugar, saturated fat and sodium content of items purchased and consumed daily, to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Canada is facing a diabetes epidemic – 11 million people live with diabetes or prediabetes today, and a new case of diabetes is being diagnosed every three minutes. Diabetes Canada is committed to fighting this epidemic and is a contributor to the development of the HES, providing policy recommendations to government when called upon and advocating for changes aimed at improving the food environment.
“The ubiquity of sugar, saturated fat and sodium in the food supply has had catastrophic effects on health,” says Dr. Jan Hux, president of Diabetes Canada. “In an effort to increase awareness of the nutrient content of our food, to guide people’s decision-making toward healthy options, as well as to encourage product reformulation by industry, Health Canada has taken a positive step forward with mandatory front-of-package labelling.”
Healthy eating is vital to achieving and maintaining healthy weight and blood pressure targets, which play a role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. A consumer takes only seconds to make a food purchase decision. Nutrition information should be available quickly and in a format that is easily understood. These principles are the foundation of Diabetes Canada’s support for this Health Canada initiative. Education and awareness are critical to improving the eating patterns of Canadians.
“There is no one intervention that will single-handedly change Canadians’ eating habits. However, a comprehensive healthy eating strategy – including clear and transparent labelling, along with restricting marketing to kids, an updated Nutrition Facts Table and Food Guide, as well as Diabetes Canada’s proposed sugary drink levy - is bound to have positive population-level impacts,” says Hux.
Diabetes Canada looks forward to providing input into this next phase of the consultation process to guide and support nutritious choices and help improve the health of Canadians. We encourage all Canadians, patients and health-care professionals alike, to make their voices heard during this consultation process.
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).