So almost a full year after the release of the new Canada's Food Guide the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check has finally figured out what revisions it wants made to their incredibly poor, 16 year old, criteria.
Perhaps tellingly the revisions were released without fanfare or press release on their website this past Friday (UPDATE July 23rd, 2009: They removed the press release from their website) and despite noting,
"Health Check's Technical Advisory Committee, made up of dietitians and nutritional experts from across the country, have developed and recommended these changes."a list of said dietitians and experts is nowhere to be found (Though I can't say I blame them, I wouldn't want my name attached to this mess either)
So what exactly did they change?
Restaurant criteria stayed exactly the same.
Supermarket criteria had 6 minor adjustments:
1. Trans-fats can now only make up 5% of an item's total fat content.
[Contrast that weak limitation to these statements that the Heart and Stroke Foundation's own CEO Sally Brown made last year,
"Trans fats are a "toxic" killer that need to be removed from the food chain as soon as possible"Sally Brown, National Post Jan. 11th, 2007
"We want this toxin - which is what it is - removed from our food supply"Sally Brown, CNews, Apr. 5th, 2007
"The longer we wait, the more illness and in fact death will happen, so we know we have to get it out of our food supply"Sally Brown, The Windsor Star, Jun. 5, 2007]
"There is no safe amount of trans consumption"
2. Breakfast cereals, waffles, and pancakes can now only contain 11grams or less of sugar (6 grams or less in cold breakfast cereals) per serving.
3. Breakfast cereals, waffles, and pancakes now must be "a source of fibre" (how much of course they don't specify)
4. Grain based bars (breakfast bars), muffins, snack breads and cookies may now only have 50% of their carbohydrates be sugar based.
5. A blanket fat reduction (including healthy fats) in the fats found in grain based bars, muffins, snack breads, cookies and dips.
6. A reduction in total sodium for dinner entrees purchased in groceries down to 720mg or less.
So to sum up: