Canada’s new Food Guide: NDP comment
Canada’s Food Guide is a vital source of information on nutrition for millions of Canadians. It is the federal government’s most widely-read document. This update could alter what our children eat at school, what patients are served in hospitals, how we learn about food and, ultimately, how grocery stores stock their shelves.
As a next step, New Democrats are calling for the implementation of effective front-of-package labelling requirements to help Canadians choose products that are lower in sodium, sugars or saturated fat. The overconsumption of sodium, sugars or saturated fat increases the risk of a variety of chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
It’s also important to remember that many Canadians can’t afford to follow the food guide’s nutrition recommendations. According to research by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, over 4 million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, live in homes that struggle to put food on the table.
The federal government could dramatically reduce food insecurity in Canada by working with the provinces and territories to guarantee universal access to nutritious meals for children in Canadian schools. Canada is currently the only G7 country that doesn’t have a national school food program.
Don Davies, MP, NDP Health Critic