Nutrition Labelling

 

Background

Canadians can make more informed food choices by reading the information found on food labels, such as:

  • Nutrition Facts table
  • Nutrition claims
  • Ingredient list
  • Allergy information

More than two thirds of Canadians read food labels to help them decide which foods to buy and eat. People with food allergies can use the labels to help them avoid certain allergens in food.

Position

  • Helping consumers make healthy food choices at the point of purchase is important to dietitians.

  • We support the use of labelling information that is highly visible, clear, consistent and easy to find by consumers.

  • We support standardized front-of-package labelling that helps consumers compare products more quickly and makes it easier to choose healthier foods and beverages.

  • We support nutrition education efforts that increase consumer awareness about nutrition labelling and enhance their skills to use this information to make healthy food choices.

  • We support a coordinated approach to policy and regulatory changes, since changes to one part of the label often affect how other information on the label is used and interpreted.

Actions

  • DC presents written briefs to the government on key food labelling policies. We consult with our members on proposed labelling policies and providing this feedback to policy makers within the federal government. (See Resources posted below, for examples of our briefs and consumer information.)

  • Dietitians have helped to shape national policy on a variety of topics including: Nutrition Facts Table, Nutrient Content Claims, Health Claims, Point of Purchase labelling and precautionary allergen labelling. 

  • Dietitians of Canada continues to engage members in response to Health Canada proposals.  We submitted a full report, with overarching comments and recommendations, responding to technical consultations on proposed nutrition labelling changes - see our news release September 2014. The following year we gathered responses from our members to the proposed changes as outlined in Part 1 of Canada Gazette (CG1) by Health Canada - see our news release June 12, 2015.

  • Dietitians of Canada also advocates to provincial and territorial governments on food labelling issues. Read more about our views on menu labelling, including two briefs in 2015, developed with input from DC’s Ontario members in response to the Government of Ontario’s proposed Healthy Menu Choices Act and Regulations.

Resources

 

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Eating out more often is associated with higher calorie intake and weight gain, but Canada does not have a standardized menu labelling policy and only a few provinces have menu labelling programs.

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