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News release: Good nutrition takes centre stage at Cardiovascular Congress

Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor vows to act on initiatives to support healthy eating

Heart & Stroke applauds Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor for her powerful pledge to continued action on the Healthy Eating Strategy during her address at Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. 
“We are thrilled to see this strong commitment by Minister Petitpas Taylor to supporting Canadians to make healthy food choices,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. 

The Healthy Eating Strategy was launched at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Montreal in October 2016 by then Health Minister Jane Philpott. Over the past year the government has made meaningful progress. 

Most significantly, last month Health Canada announced banning industrial trans fats in all food sold in Canada. Heart & Stroke co-chaired the Trans Fat Task Force which made this recommendation in 2006 to eliminate these heart-clogging fats from our food supply. This effort will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives. 

Public consultations were held for the first time on a proposed approach to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth. A new round of public consultations on the Food Guide was launched at the same time. 

“We have an unprecedented opportunity in Canada to make meaningful changes to our food environment,” says Yves Savoie. “We applauded the trans fat ban and we are eager to work with Health Canada to drive forward the Healthy Eating Strategy including legislation prohibiting food and beverage marketing to children, an updated Food Guide, improving access to healthy food in Northern communities, and developing strong, easy to understand front-of-package nutrition labelling.”

A bill (S-228) on unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children 16 years and younger is currently in the House of Commons. This much needed legislation will protect the youngest members of our society who are bombarded with ads for unhealthy, highly processed foods and beverages all day, every day. In fact 90% of products marketed to kids and teens on TV and online are high in salt, fat or sugar. 

Revisions to the Food Guide will improve Canadians’ food choices, including removing juice as an alternative to vegetables and fruit. Updating this recognized resource will help Canadians make healthy choices including by limiting processed foods and avoiding beverages high in sugar.

Stronger front-of-package nutrition labelling requirements for food and beverages, in particular warning labels for items high in sugar, saturated fat or salt, would provide quick and easy guidance and steer consumers away from unhealthy choices.

About Heart & Stroke 

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.
Contact information

Jane-Diane Fraser
Manager, Communications, Heart & Stroke 
613.691.4020 or 613.406.3282
jd.fraser@heartandstroke.ca  

Alex Maheux
Manager, Communications, Heart & Stroke
647-943-3178 or  416 729 5913
Alexandra.maheux@heartandstroke.ca