Have you signed the petition for putting added sugar on Canadian food labels? Do you know the difference between free sugar and added sugar?
A quick read for Nutrition Month. Do you understand the influence of the food industry? Are you aware that the food industry funded research is 5x more likely to conclude that there is no association between sugar sweetened beverages and obesity than systematic reviews without conflicts of interest.
My open letter to Nancy Greene Raine supporting her proposed bill to amend the FDA with a historical legislation proposal that could make a lasting impact on the youth of her country. She committed to the suggestion that the Food and Drug Act should be amended, moving to make it illegal to direct advertising and marketing toward children across the country.
So I tried alkaline water in Calgary last weekend and it wasn’t because I wanted to. It was because it was all that was readily available…
The good: Can save 56-63 calories per meal by ‘sponging up’ oil. (Letting a maximum of 7ml of oil settle into the holes- if the holes are filled with spices it’ll pull off less) The bad: A plate probably isn’t going to change obesity in Thailand and it’s probably going to add to the pending…
I wanted to share a brief breakdown from my interviews and a few of my favorite quotes.
They told me:
Healthy people have favorite foods that aren’t vegetables. The people I interviewed enjoy bread, chocolate, alcohol, cookies, sugary breakfast cereals, and ice-cream.
Given the hypothetical opportunity to cook or dine with anyone in the world, most people would choose their family.
Many of the people I interviewed think that local crops should be subsidized instead of the current crops that are subsidized like corn. Others think that levies or taxes on sugar added foods or beverages could potentially be structured to reduce the cost of fruits and vegetables.
Almost everyone I spoke to mentioned that education, improving access to food or modifying the present agricultural system were likely routes to improving public health.
On school nutrition- I’m not sure teachers are being taught to teach these things so It’s hard to teach something you don’t know how to teach. It’s similar to cooking. How do we expect families to suddenly start cooking when they were brought up not cooking. If teachers aren’t given the tools they need to teach they’re not necessarily going to develop them on their own.
There is a role for food in comfort and celebration but not as a reward for children.
Celebrating the 100th day of school with a junk food party is not normal. Reading a book for twizzlers is not necessary.
We live on a continent where diet and weight related diseases
are really problematic both to individuals and countries. There are so many barriers to healthy eating related to the environment we live in that there are too many to list. He calls sodium a dietary red herring, an excellent marker for hyper-processed foods.
Health starts at healthy living.
Part of the fabric of humanity is food.
Parenting to us is living the life we want our kids to live.
I’ve spoken to people in different industries working in different countries. The theme is prevalent.
The theme is action.
We need to take action and to help our population lead a healthier lifestyle. Whatever we’re doing right now isn’t enough. One example is that obesity rates are trending upward, in Canada one in ten children have clinical obesity. Obesity is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease arthritis and cancer.
These things don’t impact one person at a time, they impact many lives, families and whole communities.
Chalie is a pharmacist who gave me her opinion on what a healthy diet is. We talked about improving nutrition education for youth in high schools that would teach kids about worldly foods and eating healthfully and how to better serve folks who aren’t as financially stable as others.
Her pet peeves? Elimination diets and cleanses. She believes all foods in moderation is a better approach.
How do you eat healthy in a pharmacy when you don’t get breaks? You plan ahead, pack finger foods and eat inconspicuously.
Oh- don’t flush a block of cheese down the toilet, the plumber bill is expensive…
I interviewed Ontario based Dietitian Mark to talk about what he thinks the barriers to healthy eating are. We had a lot we agreed on and we want to spend some time in the kitchen cooking with Gordon Ramsay.
Mark advocates for balance in the diet and thinks we should have a greater focus on teaching children more about nutrition in schools.
He also loves Montreal smoked meat topped poutine, now that’s a Dietitian you can trust!
Once a week I’ve been trying to do a unique interview style to keep my month long project exciting for myself and my readers.
Mark talks to me about why the public is so confused about nutrition and what he thinks would make our population healthier. Kids cooking in school!
I asked Ali for an interview because I knew that she had recently transitioned from one school to another, giving her a broad perspective of what kids are facing when it comes to healthy eating. She’s worked with recently immigrated children, which I think gives her an insight that we might not all have.
She hit a home run with these answers.
What barriers to healthy eating do you see children in schools face?
Some schools have access to food banks and free healthy meals but there are many that don’t have the access. There were students at a school I worked at recently who weren’t fed breakfast or given snacks for recess time. Then they would go home to eat [and have] very little at lunch which would affect their behavior and performance in school.
This school had a breakfast program but many parents were too proud to send the children to accept the food.
School nutrition programs are a crucial part of providing Canadian youth with adequate food. Presently, Canada is the only G8 country without a national school nutrition program.
Vanessa and I spoke about the accessibility of unhealthy foods and the perceived higher cost of unhealthy foods. The marketing of foods can influence what we purchase, Registered Dietitians in retail settings are there to help people choose the healthy foods.
Vanessa told me about trying to keep food and nutrition simple rather than overcomplicating it.
Vanessa gives me her educated opinion on what nutrition and healthy eating means to her as a Registered Dietitian in a retail setting.