Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) has been an important health promotion tool for over seventy years. The most recent version was released in 2007. This study examined Canadians’ exposure to, knowledge, and use of CFG.
Data came from the Canadian Community Health Survey’s Rapid Response on the Awareness and Usage of Canada’s Food Guide, which included 10,098 Canadians ≥12 y in all ten provinces. Questions were asked on familiarity, awareness and usage of CFG and Canada’s Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as healthy eating principles and behaviours. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to observe counts and differences among key demographic variables.
More than 80% of Canadians have heard of CFG however significantly more women than men were aware of the Guide. Most knew that ‘Vegetables and Fruit’ had the most recommended servings and that dark green vegetables should be consumed daily; however fewer than half knew this of orange vegetables. Just under one third had a copy in their homes, and the most common sources for obtaining CFG were child’s school and health professional/trainer. Those who consulted CFG recently were more likely to consume the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits, and to state that their eating habits were ‘much better’ than one year previously.
CFG has “brand recognition” among Canadians however there are gaps between awareness and eating behaviours. The new Food Guide could consider additional dissemination tools including social media, videos and workbooks tailored to various age groups, demographic groups and settings.