It’s Nutrition Month! Here’s Five Things We Learned About Nutrition Last Year


7 March 2018

March is Nutrition Month! To celebrate, here’s five things we learned in the past year about food and nutrition:

1. Two-thirds of packaged foods and drinks in Canada have added sugars

A PHO and University of Waterloo study found that 66 per cent of packaged food products had at least one added sugar in their ingredients list, including baby foods, infant formulas, and many so-called ‘healthier’ foods. See the newsroom article to find out more.

2. On-shelf nutrition labels help supermarket shoppers choose healthier foods

A PHO study looked at an on-shelf labelling system in major super market chains that shared simple, standardized nutrition information to help shoppers make informed and healthy food choices. They found that the labelling system led to increases in the proportion of healthy foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) that shoppers purchased. See the newsroom article or the PHO Rounds presentation for more.  

3. A nutrition “report card” can help us assess and take action on how our communities support healthy eating

In a PHO Rounds presentation, Dr. Kim Raine described the Alberta’s 2016 Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth. The report card aims to increase awareness of food environments for children with a focus on health promotion and obesity prevention. See the presentation to find out more. 

4. Measuring food literacy is more than just knowing about nutrition or how to cook

A Locally Driven Collaborative Project is creating a tool to measure food literacy in youth, young parents and pregnant women. They discovered that food literacy also includes individual beliefs and attitudes, environmental factors and the ability to apply knowledge and skills to food decisions. Read the report to find out more.

5. Menu labelling in restaurants may help children and youth choose healthier options

A systematic review by PHO found that nutrition labelling on menus in restaurants or school cafeterias may result in lower calorie food choices for children or adolescents. This is the first study of it’s kind to synthesize evidence on menu labelling’s impact on children and adolescents. Read the journal article to find out more.

For more information on Nutrition Month, see the Dietitians of Canada website.

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Updated 7 March 2018