In an effort to help Canadians make healthier food choices, Health Canada has launched consultations with consumers and industry on creating a new front-of-package symbol
Ottawa – Health Canada announced that it’s going to consult with Canadians, consumers and industry, on creating new front-of-package nutrition symbols on food.
In a statement, Health Canada says the symbol will “complement the Nutrition Facts table on the back or side of the food package” and it will clearly indicate to shoppers that a “food is high in nutrients of public health concern, such as sodium, sugars or saturated fat.”
The statement says the move is an effort to help Canadian consumers make healthier food choices, especially since “two in five Canadian adults report having one of the most common chronic diseases, which include heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.”
What also worries Health Canada is that some of these chronic conditions are showing up in young children.
Various organizations responded positively to the announcement. Yves Savoie, the CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, says his organization fully supports the move.
“Adding labels that are clearly visible and easy to understand will help steer consumers away from unhealthy products high in sugars, sodium and saturated fat and support them to make healthy choices,” says Savoie.
To start, Health Canada launched consultations on regulations for the new nutrition symbols for various foods.
To participate in the consultations, click here. Consultations will close on April 26, 2018.
The federal government says in the statement that it wants “to make it easier for Canadians to make healthier food choices. Poor diets – including those that are high in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat – are a primary risk factor for diseases such as cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.”
Nathalie Savoie, the CEO of the Dietitians of Canada, says in the statement that the new symbols could help consumers “more quickly compare products and make healthier food choices for their households.”
She adds that “a regulated requirement will also encourage product innovation, providing more food products that are lower in sodium, sugars and saturated fat. Dietitians of Canada will draw on the collective expertise of our members, with their diverse roles across the food and health systems, to contribute to the finalization of this new regulation.”