The Canadian government health body will revise its advice on what constitutes a healthy diet, after a major review found that many people do not understand some of the terminology used.
A review by the department launched in 2002, which involved consulting experts across the country on changes in the food supply, eating patterns and the understanding of the guide by teachers, dietitians and consumers, highlighted problems when Canadians apply the advice.
The revision will also take into account recent changes to recommended nutrient intakes, which inform the levels of nutrients added to food and the population's nutrient requirements.
"Our research…tells us that the Food Guide can be improved and made more meaningful to Canadians in making healthy eating choices," said health minister Pierre Pettigrew last week.
The current Food Guide and related dietary guidance was released in the early 1990's. Since then there has been much wider investigation into the relationship between diet and health.
The 1990 Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) have now been replaced by the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), established by Canadian and American scientists, to be used in planning and assessing diets. Reducing the risk of chronic disease is incorporated into the derivation of the values.
Over the next year, Health Canada will carry out research into serving sizes, serving ranges and the food groups, as well as looking at communications matters related to terminology, target audiences, and graphics.
The process is expected to finish by spring 2006.
For more information on details of the review and progress of the update, visit Health Canada's website .