Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadians' poor diet a recipe for disaster

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OTTAWA -- An independent think- tank says despite some small improvements in diet, Canadians are still eating too much salt, sugar and harmful fats.

A Conference Board of Canada report issued Monday says persistently poor eating habits continue to increase Canadians' risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer as they age.

It also says children's eating habits are poor and getting worse, which principal research associate Daniel Munro calls "very troubling."

The report finds Canadians' average daily consumption of sodium is more than double the adequate daily intake level of 1,500 mg a day.

It also says by 2008, 62 per cent of Canadians were overweight or obese, a key risk factor for many chronic diseases. And few children are eating the recommended five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

In a release, Munro says action is needed to improve dietary patterns, especially among children, in order to reduce the future health, economic and social burden of chronic diseases.

The report recommends a number of government actions to help combat the problem, including clarifying nutritional content descriptions on food labelling and packaging.

It also recommends steps be taken to improve children's food literacy, eating habits and physical activity.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2012 C1

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