A Canadian senate committee has just released a new report, along with some very nice summaries for public consumption, on obesity in Canada and what to do about it.

Why is this report a little less depressing than other governmental reports from around the world? It is pushing research, and therefore funding, into areas that are difficult to fund without government support.
And the people involved have the guts to call their current guidelines dated, which, to me, is a euphemism for just a little bit incorrect:
Canada’s dated food guide is no longer effective in providing nutritional guidance to Canadians. Fruit juice, for instance, is presented as a healthy item when it is little more than a soft drink without the bubbles.

Recommendations

I wanted to list a bunch of the recommendations, but I’ll stick to two…
Get a strong group of scientists to ask challenging research questions across disciplines, not just nutritionists:

Recommendation 7

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health revise the food guide on the guidance of an advisory body which:

  • Comprises experts in relevant areas of study, including but not limited to nutrition, medicine, metabolism, biochemistry, and biology; 
The second-to-last recommendation sums it up nicely. I quite like that this paragraph does not keep hammering on about poor diet and obesity, but rather poor diet and chronic disease. This is where society’s money and people’s quality of life goes down the drain, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Recommendation 20

The committee therefore recommends that Health Canada design and implement a public awareness campaign on healthy eating based on tested, simple messaging. These messages should relate to, but not be limited to:

  • Most of the healthiest food doesn’t require a label;
  • Meal preparation and enjoyment;
  • Reduced consumption of processed foods; and,
  • The link between poor diet and chronic disease.

 

Report links

The report summary is very user-friendly and includes:

 

Of course, you can also read the whole report (pdf warning, 56 pages) if brevity is not your thing.

Advertisements