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Dietary guidelines update

It is fantastic to see the shift that Canada has made in regards to the health eating guidelines. What makes these guidelines such a significant step is they are different to what most other western countries are currently doing.

Whenever there is a shift in food suggestion on a country basis it should spark thoughts in regards to if our current food suggestions (in Australia) are as relevant as when they were first conceived.

It was back in the 1960’s when our first suggested guidelines were released and it would be safe to say that it was an entirely different world that we live in now. With the long-term data (ABS 2015, NHMRC 2013) suggesting that we are now more obese as a population, the question must be asked if our current guidelines are reflecting where we need to be heading as a nation.

Overweight and obesity among adults increases the likelihood of developing many chronic conditions, including some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, back pain and problems, chronic kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, gallbladder disease, gout, and osteoarthritis (AIHW 2017).

Some noteworthy additions into the Canadian guidelines include:

  • The dropping of dairy and meat as individual categories. This moves the focus toward a diet of wholefoods.

  • Being mindful of food-based marketing.

  • Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It is also about where, when, how you eat with and how you eat.

Please note that these guidelines are just that, GUIDELINES. I still believe that each person should have a food intake that is specific to their current needs as well as age and stage of life (pregnancy, healing needs).

We are all genetically unique and thus will require specific foods and herbs/spices to assist our body to function at the optimal level to reach to optimal level of health. This is the real future of where food-based suggestion will come from as the food we eat (and don’t eat), interacts and effects our genetic expression. I look forward to when dietary suggestion is client-centred around encouraging our genetic potential, and takes into account the individual.


ABS 2015. National Health Survey: first results, 2014–15. Canberra: ABS.

NHMRC 2013. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Melbourne: NHMRC.

AIHW 2017. Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 11. Cat. no. BOD 12. Canberra: AIHW.

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