Friday, May 29, 2015

Government of Canada Launches New Phase of Nutrition Facts Education Campaign

Consumers encouraged to better use the Nutrition Facts table
TORONTO, Ontario May 29, 2015 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today launched the second phase of the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign (NFEC) to help Canadians make more informed food choices for themselves and their families.  The announcement was made together with campaign partners Derek Nighbor, Senior Vice-President of Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), and David Wilkes, Senior Vice-President of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) as well as with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).
Minister Clement unveiled the campaign's theme, "Focus on the Facts". The campaign  encourages Canadians – especially parents of children aged 2 to 12 – to use the "Serving Size" in the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) on packaged foods to compare similar foods.  By using the "Serving Size" and "Percent Daily Value", consumers can choose foods that have more of the nutrients they want to consume, such as fibre and calcium, and less of those they don't want, such as saturated and trans fats and sodium.
"I am proud of our Government's ongoing efforts to promote healthy eating. We know that healthy eating is integral to preventing nutrition-related chronic diseases, including obesity. We also know that there are real and significant health benefits associated with the use of food labels."                            - Rona Ambrose Minister of Health
The campaign is part of a broader government effort to help Canadians choose healthier foods by learning how to read and use the nutrition information on food labels. The NFEC Focus on the Facts messages and tips will still apply for future changes to the NFt.  Serving size and %DV are the core concepts behind the present Nutrition Facts table and are the focus of this campaign.  These will continue to be important concepts for consumers to use when comparing foods.
"The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians better understand and use the information on the Nutrition Facts table so they can make informed food choices for themselves and their families." -Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board
"Research shows that the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) on food and beverage packages is the best way for busy Canadians to learn about the products they choose. Health Canada and industry have partnered to help Canadians better understand how to read the table and how to use it, as an essential and helpful nutrition informational tool. Food & Consumer Products of Canada is pleased to carry on the campaign's strong partnership with Health Canada and grocery retailers across the country."                                                 Nancy Croitoru President and CEO, FCPC
"Retail Council of Canada is proud to support the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign which encourages Canadians to use and understand the Nutrition Facts table when shopping for themselves and their families. Helping Canadians make informed food choices is a top priority for grocery retailers" said Wilkes.  Providing this information to Canadians is shared responsibility and RCC and its members are pleased to be working with our supplier and retail partners and Health Canada to achieve this important goal."- David Wilkes Senior Vice-President, RCC
"As CFIG's retailer members are often on the frontlines when it comes to answering consumers' questions on food choices, we look forward to working with the Government of Canada on the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign to support consumers in making informed decisions in the grocery aisles." - Thomas A. Barlow President and CEO, CFIG
"Canadians need support to make informed choices that influence their health and quality of life, and understanding how to use available nutritional information is an important aspect of the decision-making process." - Dr. Arya M. Sharma Scientific Director, Canadian Obesity Network
Quick Facts
  • The campaign encourages people to look at the NFt and start with Serving Size, found under the header 'Nutrition Facts'; then look at Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the right side of the NFt. You can use the % DV to see if the Serving Size has a little or a lot of a nutrient – 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot.
  • New NFEC campaign messages will be displayed on food packaging sold by 21 leading food companies, and will be promoted on in-store material and at retail events (through 10 retail chains and independent grocers).
  • Since 2010, more than 1 billion food products featuring on-package NFEC messaging were distributed across Canada.

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