Coalitions to Advance Food Policies
Revising Canada’s food guide by 2019 to make it more relevant and useful.
Protecting vulnerable populations by restricting the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages.
Strengthening labelling and claims, plus updating the list of ingredients and nutrition facts table located on food and beverage containers.
Developing new front-of-package nutrition information, particularly concerning sugars, sodium and saturated fat.
Reducing sodium content and eliminating industrially produced trans-fats in foods.
Increasing access to and availability of nutritious foods for isolated communities.
The Foundation is part of the Canadian Food Funder Collaborative. Read our initial letter of support to then Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott.
The Collaborative is very disappointed and upset that industry influence blocked passage of Bill S-228 ( an act to amend the Food & Drugs Act to prohibit food and beverage marketing to children) and is fighting to prevent front-of-pack labelling on food and beverage packages. It has called on renewed support for Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy. Read the letter to Minister Taylor.
Ontario’s Food & Nutrition Strategy
The Ontario strategy has three directions: Healthy Food Access, Healthy Food Systems and Food Literacy and Skills.
While it is recognized that each strategic area overlaps, and the combination of all three is what drives a healthier lifestyle, The Helderleigh Foundation’s interest is in Food Literacy and Skills. A growing proportion of the population is without both knowledge of (and skills on) how to select ingredients, and prepare healthy meals. Read Ontario’s Food & Nutrition Strategy here.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of Ontarians support making food literacy part of the mainstream elementary school curriculum. Only thirty six percent ( 36%) of students who enter grade nine have earned at least one credit in a course that included a literacy component. This is why four health associations came together to urge to then Ontario’s Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson to enhance the elementary school curriculum and have at least one food/ nutrition course mandatory for all students in the secondary school curriculum in order to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Read more here.
"Everyone at the Table” - A Food Policy for Canada
The Helderleigh Foundation joined organizations coast to coast in consultation with the federal government to set a roadmap and an initial budget for a healthier and more sustainable food system. Components include:
Community-led projects that aim to improve access to safe, healthy and culturally diverse foods
Buy Canadian campaign in support of farmers and processors
Reducing food waste
Tackling food fraud
Studies towards a National School Food program
Setting in place a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council.
Restrictions on Food and Beverage Marketing to Children
As part of The Helderleigh Foundation’s commitment to promoting nutrition literacy, we believe it is essential for federal government to take action on restricting commercial marketing of foods and beverages aimed at children. These restrictions are a critical part of a comprehensive food policy and cultivating healthy-eating environments.
Canadian children and youth are bombarded with ads for unhealthy foods and beverages. They are targeted through multiple channels and settings, including online, at home, at school and in restaurants and rec centres. As Dr. David Hammond states: “companies are utilizing covert tactics to exert their influences at alarming rates, and at a far earlier ages than many of us realize”.
The Helderleigh Foundation is proud to support the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition and the Ottawa Principles. The Coalition is helping to advance Canada's first parliamentary bill–and related regulations–to restrict unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children. This milestone, coupled with strong front-of-package nutrition warning labels and a revised Canada Food Guide have the potential to position Canada as an emerging world leader in nutrition policy.