Canada’s Food Guide Part Two

So after reading the history, I explored the website a little more, and found a lot of things I wasn’t expecting.

-You can take an interactive guided tour of our current Food Guide. Here are some screen shots from my ‘interaction’

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They even have an option to “Create Your Own Food Guide”

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A few shots from ‘my guide’

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So apparently this new interactive website has been around since 2007. They definitely do not do a good enough job of promoting it, encouraging people to take charge of their health with their eating habits. And you’re also telling me it took them 65 YEARS to realize that us as individuals need our OWN food guides?! Call me an anarchist but I still don’t buy it. I give them points for trying. In my food guide they didn’t ask me my weight, or put into account if I was a pregnant woman or not, and in my opinion, having a category of women 19-30 is wayyyy to broad. Even though I am inching closer to 30, and would like to tell myself (and others) that I am still 19, my body is WAY different (WRINKLES?! AHH!). Anyone who knows me, if I tried to follow ‘MY food guide’ I would whither away and die (considering I have a gluten allergy). But I am glad I took the time to do my research, instead of jumping to conclusions. And I know a lot of you didn’t even know about this new fangled website.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php

Check it out if you’re curious, its filled with lots of information. But I pretty much summed it up.

And if you’re also curious…First Nations, Inuit, and Metis have their own food guide. (Interesting)

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I hope this has been of some interest to you. Now I am interested in exploring food guides of other countries!…….must study….

❤ Robyn

Canada’s Food Guide

Now I have a lot of issues with the Food Guide. We are all individuals, some have weight issues, some have heart issues, some are vegetarians, some have gluten allergies, some have religious obligations. So how is it possible for ALL of us to follow ONE food guide. Or that you see the little cow symbol on the bottom corner, surprisingly when they’re telling you to increase the amount of milk that you drink (*cough monetary sponsor *cough). So I decided to go to the Canada’s Food Guide website, to see what additional information I could find. Do they really care about us, or is it all backed by Big Industry?

Here is a little history on the Food Guide:

“Canada’s first food guide, the Official Food Rules, was introduced to the public in July 1942. This guide acknowledged wartime food rationing, while endeavoring to prevent nutritional deficiencies and to improve the health of Canadians. Since 1942, the food guide has been transformed many times – it has adopted new names, new looks, and new messages, yet has never wavered from its original purpose of guiding food selection and promoting the nutritional health of Canadians.”

Role Of Food Guides

“Food guides are basic education tools that are designed to help people follow a healthy diet. They embody sophisticated dietary analysis, and merge national nutrition goals, data from food consumption surveys, and issues of food supply and production. They translate the science of nutrient requirements into a practical pattern of food choices, incorporating variety and flexibility.”

“Little is recorded about the process used to develop the earliest food guides for Canada.” (Interesting)

1942 Food Guide

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1944

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1949

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And in 1949 they introduced a new resource, Canada’s Food Rules-A Dietary Framework For All, outlined a day’s eating plan for various age groups.

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Look familiar? A lot of families in 2013 seem to still be following the same eating guidelines as 1949?! I love the bread with butter recommendations. But also keep in mind back then their bread wasn’t nearly as processed and refined, and chemically riddled as ours is today.

1961

“There have been changes in methods of food processing, storage, and transportation, which in turn have changed the types of food available to Canadians throughout the year.”

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1977

“The dramatic new look of the 1977 Canada’s Food Guide sparked much interest. For the first time, colorful pictures of foods were grouped in wheel-like fashion around a sun graphic. This Guide boasted several other innovations in addition to the dynamic design change. For instance, four food groups, instead of five, appeared – fruits and vegetables were combined since their nutrient contributions overlapped. Ranges were added to the serving suggestions, bolstering the flexible nature of the Guide. In addition, metric units made their way into the serving size suggestions to align with Canada’s move to the metric system.

More than 30 textual changes occurred with the 1977 revision. For example, the milk group became Milk and Milk Products, paving the way for the inclusion of other dairy food choices. Meat and Alternates replaced Meat and Fish, and a statement regarding the Bread and Cereals group established that “enriched” products could be used in place of whole grain. Further, Fruit and Vegetables were combined into one group, and the recommendation to eat one serving of potatoes was deleted.

The 1977 revision was guided by reports from the Nutrition Canada National Survey (1973), which represents the largest, most comprehensive nutritional study of the Canadian population to date. Data from the survey reports, in particular the Food Consumption Patterns Report, provided current information on regional and national food choices, significant since earlier food guide revisions had been hampered by the limited knowledge on national food consumption patterns. Similarly, the revision was influenced by a think piece, released in 1974 by the Minister of National Health and Welfare, entitled A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians.This document provided an insightful analysis of what contributes to health, including the role of good nutrition. The 1977 revision was also influenced by the contributions of many health professional groups and organizations.”

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(Oooh dramatic!)

1982

… after reviewing the information available on the relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease, [the committee] believes that there is an adequate basis for recommending changes in the Canadian diet.”

(Maybe it would have something to do with all the bread you were recommending)

“The four food groups remained the same. However, the name of the meat group was changed to Meat, Fish, Poultry and Alternates – longer but perhaps more inclusive.”

1992

“The revised Canada’s Food Guide… marks a new era in nutrition guidance in Canada.”

“Historic changes accompanied the 1992 revision. The title was changed to reflect the overarching goal of the Guide, becoming Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. The design changed – a rainbow graphic now displayed the four food groups, all of which bore new names: – Grain Products, Vegetables and Fruit, Milk Products, and Meat and Alternatives. The biggest change was a shift in the philosophy of the Food Guide in that the 1992 Guide embraced a total diet approach to choosing foods. Previous food guides were based on a foundation diet concept – they identified minimum requirements, necessitating those with higher needs to self-select more food. The total diet approach aimed to meet both energy and nutrient requirements, recognizing that energy needs vary. With the total diet approach came large ranges in the number of servings from the four food groups to accommodate the wide range of energy needs for different ages, body sizes, activity levels, genders and conditions such as pregnancy and nursing. The Guide also introduced the Other Foods category which included foods and beverages that did not fit into any of the four food groups and, although part of the diets of many Canadians, would traditionally not have been mentioned in a food guide.

To meet higher energy needs, the rainbow schematic encouraged selection of more servings from the Grain Products and Vegetables and Fruit groups, a concept that was graphically presented through larger bands of the rainbow compared to those used to illustrate the Milk Products and Meat and Alternatives groups. The 1992 Food Guide also introduced the notion of directional statements to give more guidance on choosing foods.

The process to develop the 1992 Guide was considered to be revolutionary in food guide history. Information was assembled from experts, consumers, literature reviews, food consumption surveys, consumer research, and commissioned scientific reviews. Consultation was an integral part of the process.”

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“In some ways, the Food Guide that we use today has evolved and is quite different from the 1942 Canada’s Official Food Rules. In other ways, it is not. The same intent underlies all of the guides between 1942 and 2007: guiding food selection to promote the nutritional health of Canadians.”