Monday, June 18, 2012
A joint provincial/territorial report, Reducing the Sodium Intake of Canadians: A Provincial and Territorial Report on Progress and Recommendations for Future Action, which was released last week. The report marks the first time the provinces and territories have collaborated in this way and stems from a September 2010 commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers (with the exception of Quebec), to work together to lower the sodium intake of Canadians and promote healthy weights in children.
Lowering our sodium intake is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle and can help reduce significant health problems, such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart and kidney disease.
The report focuses on action in four key areas: lowering sodium in the food supply, awareness and education, research, and monitoring and evaluation. Actions include:
Developing consistent healthy food guidelines and nutrition criteria for the sale, serving and marketing of foods in publicly funded places by March 2013;
Continuing to collaborate with the restaurant and food-services industry and others to reduce sodium in foods and beverages, and explore using British Columbia's Informed Dining program as a model for nutrition information by March 2013;
Asking the food industry to join governments in publicly committing to the 2016 reduction goal;
Encouraging the food industry and others to use sodium reduction messages from the report in healthy living and nutrition information, and activities to increase public awareness;
Continuing to share evaluation results and, by fall, establish an expert-based committee to oversee the development of consistent evaluation standards and practices; and
Providing a forum by spring to discuss monitoring and evaluation and identifying options to monitor sodium reduction in the food supply.
Click here to access the full report in both French and English.
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