The Hub August 2017 - Page 7

Angelica Haggert It has been ten years since the Canada Food Guide was last updated. With all the advances in technology, medicine and general health, we are still following outdated guidance on what to eat and how much to eat of it. Health Canada is preparing to relaunch the food guide in 2018. Their stated principles indicate a shift towards a plant-based diet, and will move away from the wartime rationing our current guide adheres to. Our first food guide - the Official Food Rules - was launched in 1942. It became The Food Guide in 1944, and went through changes in 1949, 1961, 1977, 1982, 1992 and 2007. The first guide identified six food groups and focused on eating healthy while staying on the wartime rations. In 1944, the guide upped the quantity of milk that should be consumed, and was reduced to five food groups, having added cheese, eggs and butter to various categories. The consumption of water was also encouraged. In 1949, the focus shifted to clarify various guidelines to ensure food items were not being consumed in excess. Five food groups remained on the list, but quantities were restructured to say “at least” x amount. By 1961, the availability, processing and storage of foods had changed in big ways, meaning we were eating different things. This version broadened the choices recommended and softened much of the language, becoming the “Guide” instead of the “Rules.” Publications also began to adopt household measuring styles - using cups instead of pints for milk servings. In 1977 the Food Guide made huge leaps and bounds in changing - graphically shifting from a list style to a wheel and incorporating a number of textual changes. We dropped to four food groups - combining Vegetables and Fruit - and dropped the recommended daily potato. The 1977 update was guided in a large part by the Nutrition Canada National Survey taken in 1973. In 1982 the Guide changed again to address concerns of medical professionals about the effects of diet on cardiovascular health and chronic diseases. Variety and an “energy balance” were emphasized, along with an encouragement to eat everything in moderation. Ten years later, in 1992, there was a drastic shift in the philosophy of the Guide. Called “a new era,” the 1992 Guide considered itself an overall guide to healthy eating through a total diet approach. It also took into account the differences in body shapes and sizes and the different needs of those pregnant or nursing. In 2007, the Guide expanded, including age groups, genders and a guide specifically reflective of t he food choices of Inuit, Metis and First Nations in Canada. Rumour has it the newest iteration of the Guide will lump together all proteins and could potentially impact the dairy and beef industries in Canada. More than 20,000 people responded to surveys and The 1942 Canada Official Rules consultations, making this the first Guide to take the average person’s thoughts on nutrition guidelines into account. The new guide will be released in two stages. Part 1 of the new dietary guidance policy report for health professionals and policy makers, which will consist of general healthy eating recommendations, will be released by early 2018. In 2019 Part 2 of the new dietary guidance policy report, which will consist of healthy eating patterns (recommended amounts and types of foods) will be released. Until August 14, 2017 the general public (and everyone else) can participate in an online questionnaire. You can find this questionnaire here and provide your input on what the new Guide should contain. Visit www.canada.ca for more info. Tell us on Facebook about your adventures with food this month, or tweet us @thehubWE #foodmatters August 2017 - The HUB 7