March is National Nutrition Month and with it comes a raised awareness to all things we put in our bodies. This Wednesday March 19th, Chicken Farmers of Canada is hosting a Twitter #ChickenChat focusing on all things nutrition. Whether you are someone who knows a lot about diet and nutrition, or someone who is looking to improve your health and wellness one meal at a time, this week's #ChickenChat is for you.
9 Interesting things you may not know about Canadian Diets
The Heart and Stroke Foundation is one of Canada’s largest and most effective health charities. Over the last 60 years they've invested more than $1.35 billion in heart and stroke research, making them the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. In that time, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent. Along with being one of Canada's top contributing charities, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is an incredible source for information on diets and nutrition.
- Canadians of all ages get more than one-fifth of their calories from “other foods,” which are food and beverages that are not part of the Four Food groups (Statistics Canada, 2006).
- Snacks, that is, food and drink consumed between meals, accounted for more calories than breakfast, and about the same number of calories as lunch (Statistics Canada, 2006).
- Food consumption among adults is linked to their household income (Statistics Canada, 2006).
- More than one-quarter of Canadians ages 31 to 50 get more than 35% of their total calories from fat, the threshold beyond which health risks increase (Statistics Canada, 2006).
- More than one-third of children ages 4 to 9 do not have the recommended two servings of milk products a day. By age 30, more than two-thirds of Canadians do not meet the recommended minimums (Garriguet, 2007; Statistics Canada, 2006).
- Seven out of 10 children ages 4 to 8, and half of adults, do not eat the recommended daily minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit (Statistics Canada, 2006).
- 56.2% of Canadians (age 12+) consume fewer than five servings of vegetables and fruit per day (PHAC, 2009).
- Most Canadians consume far more sodium than is necessary. Results from the Canadian Community Health Survey – Nutrition indicate that among people aged 19 to 70 years of age, over 85% of men and 60% of women had sodium intakes exceeding the recommended upper limit (Garriguet, 2007).
- It is estimated that Canadians consume 3,400 mg of sodium each day on average (Health Canada, 2010).
6 Alarming Health Canada Facts about the typical Canadian Diet
Health Canada asked the question “Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone?” The answers will surprise you. In the report, Health Canada shares some interesting statistics as it relates to Canadians' diets. For adults aged 19 years and older, they eat:
- Too many calories: 5 in 10 women and 7 in 10 men have energy intakes that exceed their energy needs.
- Too much fat: 25% of males and 23% of females, 19 years and older, have fat intakes above the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range.
- Too little carbohydrates: 32% of males and 21% of females, 19 years and older, have carbohydrate intakes below the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range.
- Too little nutrients: Many adults have inadequate intakes of magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D (see Box 1 below).
- Too little fibre: For nutrients with an Adequate Intake (AI), there is concern that Canadian adults may not be meeting their needs for potassium and fibre – although the interpretation of the adequacy of nutrients with an AI is limited.
- Too much salt: Canadian adults' sodium intakes are associated with an increased risk of adverse health effects.