Canada's New Government launches updated Food Guide to help Canadians live healthier

OTTAWA, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Health Minister Tony Clement today launched
the new 2007 version of Canada's Food Guide -- "Eating Well with Canada's Food
Guide" at the Real Canadian Superstore in Orleans, Ontario. The Honourable
Christian Paradis, MP for Mégantic-L'Erable and Secretary of State
(Agriculture), made a similar announcement at the IGA Extra in Gatineau,
Quebec.

"Canada's Food Guide has been providing Canadians with straightforward
tips and messages on healthy eating for 65 years. Today, Canada's New
Government is proud to launch our new Food Guide. It provides the best, most
current information available for eating well and living healthy," said
Minister Clement. "One important new feature of this Food Guide is that it now
offers Canadians information on the amount and types of food recommended for
their age and gender."

"The Food Guide recommends a careful selection of foods balanced by
physical activity," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Chief Public Health Officer
for Canada. "By increasing their levels of physical activity, improving eating
habits and achieving healthy weights, Canadians can help ensure good health
and prevent many chronic diseases, including some cancers, type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease and stroke."

The new Food Guide was developed through widespread consultation with
approximately 7,000 stakeholders including dietitians, scientists, physicians
and public health personnel with an interest in health and chronic disease
prevention.

"Canada's Food Guide is an invaluable tool not only for Canadians but for
all dietitians working with Canadians to promote health," said Marsha Sharp,
Chief Executive Officer of Dietitians of Canada.

For the first time, Canadians can find detailed information on the amount
and types of food recommended for their age and gender. The new Food Guide
encourages Canadians to focus on vegetables, fruit and whole grains, and to
include milk, meat and their alternatives, and to limit foods that are high in
calories, fat, sugar and salt. Health Canada is also now recommending a
Vitamin D supplement for Canadians over the age of 50.

"Canada's new Food Guide reinforces the Heart and Stroke Foundation's
messages to Canadians about the importance of consuming vegetables and fruit,
limiting trans fats and combining a healthy diet with regular physical
activity," said the organization's CEO, Sally Brown.

Given the growing concern about the rates of overweight and obesity among
Canadians, providing advice on the portion sizes and the quality of food
choices was a key consideration in the development of the food guide. The Food
Guide also emphasizes the importance of combining regular physical activity
with healthy eating. "The new Food Guide is an important tool that, along with
exercise, can help many Canadians maintain a healthy body weight," said Dr.
Arya M. Sharma, Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Canadians now have a wealth of information available at their fingertips
with an enhanced, interactive Web component. "My Food Guide" will help users
personalize Food Guide information according to their age, sex and food
preferences, and will also include more culturally relevant foods from a
variety of ethnic cuisines. By this Spring, Canadians will be able to print
"My Food Guide" in a number of different languages. Health Canada is also
developing a specially tailored Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis
people that will be released this Spring.

Canadians have relied on various versions of the Food Guide for nutrition
advice since it was first published during the Second World War. Since 1942,
it has been transformed many times -- adopting new names, new looks, and new
messages -- but it has never wavered from its original purpose of guiding food
selection and promoting nutritional health, using the best, most current
information available.

For more information on Canada's Food Guide, please visit Health Canada's
Web site (http://www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide). For a list of quotes on
the Food Guide and the importance of healthy eating, as well as details on how
the Guide was revised, see attached backgrounders.

Egalement disponible en français

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Stakeholder Reaction to New Food Guide
--------------------------------------

Dietitians of Canada

"Canada's Food Guide is an invaluable tool not only for Canadians but for
all dietitians working with Canadians to promote health," said Marsha Sharp,
Chief Executive Officer, Dietitians of Canada.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

"Canada's new Food Guide reinforces the Heart and Stroke Foundation's
messages to Canadians about the importance of consuming vegetables and fruit,
limiting trans fats and combining a healthy diet with regular physical
activity," said the organization's CEO, Sally Brown.

Canadian Obesity Network

"The new Food Guide is an important tool that, along with exercise, can
help many Canadians maintain a healthy body weight," said Dr. Arya M. Sharma,
Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC)

"Following the guidance as outlined in the Food Guide can reduce the risk
of chronic diseases including coronary heart disease and stroke, type 2
diabetes and some forms of cancer," says Stephen Samis, Chair of the Chronic
Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada Steering Committee. "We urge Canadians
to use the revised Food Guide as a tool for better overall health."

Dr. Andrew Pipe, CM, MD, LLD (Hon), DSc (Hon)

"The role of diet and physical activity in preventing coronary heart
disease is fundamental. Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide provides
practical guidance to making food choices that will make it easier to be
'heart healthy'," said Andrew Pipe, CM, MD, LLD (Hon), DSc (Hon), Professor,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. Director, The Minto Prevention &
Rehabilitation Centre

Osteoprosis Canada

"Osteoporosis Canada is pleased that the new Canada Food Guide recognizes
the important role calcium and Vitamin D play in bone health. The
recommendation that Canadians over 50 take a Vitamin D supplement acknowledges
the difficulty in obtaining this vitamin by diet and sun exposure alone,
particularly for older Canadians," said VP, Osteoporosis Canada - Dr Famida
Jiwa.

Canadian Public Health Association

"Canada's Food Guide is an important public health tool," says Dr. Elinor
Wilson, Canadian Public Health Association. "It provides nutritional guidance
to Canadians and will be an integral part of many public health programs
across the country."

Canadian Diabetes Association

"The Canadian Diabetes Association welcomes the new Canada's Food Guide.
Healthy eating, along with regular physical activity, are the cornerstones of
good health, " says Sharon Zeiler, Senior Manager of Nutrition Strategies and
Initiatives at the Canadian Diabetes Association "With the inclusion of more
food choices for Canada's multicultural population, many of whom are at risk
for type 2 diabetes, we recommend the new Food Guide as an excellent source of
information on healthy eating."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
INFORMATION FEBRUARY 2007

How Canada's Food Guide was revised
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Health Canada has updated Canada's Food Guide, which was last issued in
the early 1990s. To ensure that Health Canada's guidance continued to be
consistent with current science, a review of Canada's Food Guide was initiated
in 2002. This review included an assessment of the scientific background,
changes in the food supply and food use patterns, and use and understanding of
the Food Guide by intermediaries and by consumers, as well as stakeholder
consultations, focus group testing and face-to-face regional meetings across
Canada.

The process to revise the Food Guide was evidence-based, open, and linked
to public health priorities. More than 7,000 Canadians across the country were
consulted, including dietitians, health care professionals, scientists,
doctors and researchers. National consultations were launched in Ottawa on
November 24, 2005, and included an online component and a series of regional
meetings.

The online consultation was conducted from February 15, 2006 to March 24,
2006. This consultation, which was conducted on behalf of Health Canada by
EKOS Research, was intended to present, and seek feedback on draft design
elements and proposed directions for the main content areas of the revised
Food Guide.

Regional meetings were held by Health Canada in the first two weeks of
April, 2006, in Toronto, Halifax, St. John's, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary,
Regina and Winnipeg. The purpose of these meetings was to present some of the
key design elements and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to take
part in a dialogue on specific content issues (presentation of food intake
patterns and energy balance), ask questions, and provide feedback on the
proposals for Canada's Food Guide.

Focus testing with consumers was also done to assess how well the messages
in the Food Guide were understood.

For more information on Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide, please
visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide

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