Category: Healthy Eating

3 Tips to help overcome body weight bias

Did you know that body weight bias and discrimination are real and rampant? A recent study looking at news stories in media found that 72% of images and 77% of videos stigmatized  people with obesity[1].  With so much body weight bias in our society, what can we do to help?  As dietitians we reviewed the science and bring you these 3 tips to help stop the body weight bias, with hopes that we can all make lasting positive change in response to weight shaming, stigma and discrimination. 

N4nn weight bias 2017 2017-11-26_20-25-57

  1. BECOME AWARE – Do you have a weight bias? A first step in addressing weight stigma is to become aware of our own potential attitudes and assumptions about body weight. What do you think and say about people with obesity? Did you know being called “fat” is the most common reason children are bullied?[2] A Harvard University survey reveals many people have an automatic preference for ‘thin people’ relative to ‘fat people’.[3] This survey is based on an Implicit-Association Test (IAT) that anyone can take, and measures the implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report. The WEIGHT-IAT asks you to distinguish images of people who are described as ‘obese’ or ‘fat’ and people who are ‘thin’. Try the IAT here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html – and select the Weight IAT to discover whether you have a hidden weight bias.
  1. SPEAK WITH COMPASSION – Use words that hurt less. At a recent nutrition symposium, we learned about research that shows the choice of words we use can have different impacts on people with obesity. [4]

words we use obesity bias N4NN 2017 11-27_14-57-23

  • Body weight should not be a topic of social conversation. It’s a deeply personal subject for most people. Even as a health professional, ask permission to speak about body weight.
  • Use person first language rather than describe people by their disease. ex. Saying “a person with obesity” is person first langauge. Saying “an obese person” is not person first language. It’s the same way you would say a person “has a broken leg” rather than say they “are a broken leg.”
  1. SHOW RESPECT – Every body deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Are YOU ready to help STOP the weight bias? Here are some tips:
  • Notice weight shaming and speak up when you hear inappropriate comments or jokes. Talk about someone’s performance, enthusiasm or other positive attributes rather than talking about their weight. If you notice someone blaming a person for their weight, remind yourself and others “We don’t know their story, so don’t blame them for their size.”
  • Shift the focus from weight to health and well-being.
  • Adjust your attitude – if you change your thoughts, your feelings and actions will follow.[5]

The journey toward well-being starts with how we eat and dietitians have the knowledge, compassion and flexibility to help Canadians achieve their goals. If you have questions about food and health contact a Registered Dietitian for reliable, life-changing advice.

[1] Heuer C, Puhl R.  Obesity stigma in online news: A visual content analysis.   Journal of Health Communication.   2011

[2] Puhl, R. et.al Cross-national perspectives about weight-based bullying in youth: nature, extent and remedies. Pediatric Obesity, 2016

[3] Harvard University, Project Implicit Sourced Nov 2017 https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html

[4] Adapted from Puhl, Peterson, Luedicke 2013

[5] Michael Vallis, Canadian Obesity Network Presentation 2011

New Nutrition Labels are HERE! Are you ready to transition? We can help!

One year ago, Health Canada updated the Nutrition Facts table and ingredients list on packaged foods.  This important change is part of the strategy to help make healthy food choices the easy choice for all Canadians. Food makers have until 2021 to transition to the new labels and many of our clients are starting to make the shift. Plan ahead and connect with us to help unlock your food’s nutrition potential and support healthy living for all Canadians.

Here’s a quick at-a-glance comparison of the old versus the new Nutrition Facts table as well as Ingredients lists.

Contact us at:  lucia@weilernutrition.com  for more information about these label changes and to discuss how the proposed front-of-package labelling will impact your business.

The new Nutrition Facts table places a greater emphasis on calories, potassium, calcium and iron. For the first time ever, total sugars will have a % Daily Value (%DV) set at 100 grams:

nutrition-labels-old-vs-new-bigger


 

 

 

 

 

Different types of sugars will still be individually identified, and will now also be grouped together as “Sugars”:

ingreds-list-sugars

 

 

 

All food colours will now be listed by their name rather than collectively listed as “colours”:
ingreds-list-new

 

NEW Front of Pack Labelling Update – 3 tips on how you can prepare for the big changes ahead.

N4nn fop labelling nov 2017

Photo Source: Health Canada

  1. WHAT?
    Front-of-Package Nutrition Labelling update is out – read it here!

Health Canada just published the future of Front-of-Package (FOP) nutrition labelling based on proceedings from Sept. 18, 2017 Stakeholder Engagement Meeting. The document’s summary and subsequent social media comments from scientists and regulators signal big changes for food makers.  Although ‘no firm decisions were reached and re-designed symbols would be subjected to further consultations,…Health Canada concluded that a mandatory ‘high in’ front-of-package labelling system is the most appropriate to use’.  Front-of-Package examples included warning symbols implemented in other countries such as Chile and Ecuador. Are you ready for something like this?

N4NN 2017 fop graphic

  1. SO WHAT?
    Consider if your packaged foods may have to show warning labels on front-of-package.

The ‘high in’ Front-of-Package label approach may require a black and white warning label on pack in the future but consumers already have a tool to focus on the 3 nutrients of public health concern in the NEW nutrition facts table (NFT). Have you considered what the % Daily Value (% DV) for sugars, sodium and saturated fat tells about foods? The NFT footnote explains the % DV as this:  5% or less is a little, 15% or more is a lot. The new FOP will make sure that the negative attributes of food products are represented to help Canadians make informed food choices. Health Canada recognizes that there is a gap in labelling between packaged foods and those sold in in grocery or restaurants.  Future work with provincial and territorial counterparts will aim to find the best way to provide nutrition information in restaurants and other food service establishments.

  1. NOW WHAT?
    Speak to a Registered Dietitian with food labelling expertise to plan your strategies.

Health Canada says ‘discussion is very important in moving this forward and we need to get it right’. We agree and encourage you to connect with Registered Dietitians who are regulated professionals accountable to the public based on the highest standards of science and ethics.  Our influence runs deep and we look beyond the fads and gimmicks to deliver reliable advice that supports healthy living for all Canadians.

Contact us to help you meet the demands of rethinking food labelling and to guide your team in unlocking food’s nutrition potential.

 

Sodium Reduction in Foodservice & Restaurant biz-let your voice be heard!

Message about excessive salt consumption.

Photo Source: Best Health Magazine Canada.

Do you work in foodservice or restaurant business? Get ready to lower sodium in prepared foods to make the healthier choice the easier choice. Why? Research shows that food from foodservice establishments is often high in sodium. Excess sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and chronic diseases such as heart or kidney disease.(1)

Health Canada wants to hear from you about your sodium reduction experiences to better understand what factors influence your use of sodium in foods. Please share your views and let your colleagues know about the call for information about sodium reduction in foodservice. You can participate by completing a brief  online questionnaire .

If you have questions about the sodium reduction in your menu or recipes let us know. We’ll work with you to help improve the nutrition profile of your foods.

(1) Health Canada, 2017

What’s the truth about Coconut Oil?

coconut oil N4NN newsletter

At our 10th annual N4NN course this year, participants asked many questions that you may be wondering about too. We’ve busted some myths that are worth sharing – for example, the facts about Coconut Oil!

A lot of information is out there about coconut oil, leaving consumers confused about the truth. Since coconut oil comes from coconuts, it could have a nutty flavour and appear as liquid or semi-solid at room temperature. You may wish to use it in your cooking for its flavour or texture, but remember it’s still 100% fat so use in moderation!

The scientific research does not hold up sufficient evidence to say that coconut oil has health benefits. For heart health, studies show canola and olive oils are better for you.  Enjoy a small amount of healthy oils – 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp) – each day.

Do you have nutrition questions? Let us know and we’ll answer it in a future newsletter or in our social media postings. Follow us @NutritionTraining @SueMahRD  @LuciaWeilerRD

 

A well fed brain is more likely to lead to good mood, behaviour and learning.

pennutrition back to school 2017 DHSN1OYXsAAiJZp
(Photo Credit  PENNUTRITION https://twitter.com/pennutrition)

Nutrition is important for the brain as well as the body. As the school year is off to a start, we reviewed a research summary on diet, behaviour and learning in children. Here are our top 3 tips for unlocking food’s potential to support your child’s learning. The key areas of focus are the overall nutritional balance of regularly timed meals, and adequate intake of some essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. Mind the overall nutritional balance!

Enjoying a variety of foods help the body and the brain get what they need to function best. The brains and bodies of children need a regular supply of energy so that they can think effectively.  Studies show that most children would benefit from more fruit and vegetables, and fewer sugary drinks, high-fat and high-sugar snacks.  Although the brain prefers glucose (sugars) for energy, in the long run it doesn’t cope well with major swings in blood sugar. Emerging evidence shows that foods that are digested more slowly and provide long lasting energy may be better choices.

DIETITIAN’S TIP: To moderate blood sugar swings, choose whole grains more often, and balance carbohydrate intake with some protein in each meal.

  1. Eat regularly – especially breakfast.

When children go without food for too long they may lose concentration and / or they may get in a bad mood.  Researchers find that eating breakfast leads to better learning compared to skipping breakfast. Encourage your kids to eat breakfast. Any breakfast or lunch meal is better than nothing, however including some fibre and protein in your child’s breakfast (and lunch) may be helpful for the brain.

DIETITIAN’S TIP: Try some of these great breakfast ideas:

  • A boiled egg with wholegrain toast and sliced peppers or tomato
  • Cooked oats or other whole grain cereal with milk and a sliced apple or banana
  • Yogurt berry smoothie with nuts and seeds
  1. Eat a variety of foods to get key nutrient for the brain.

One of the most important areas of research into the relationship between foods and brain health focuses on oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fats.  There is also some evidence that omega-3 fats help with attention. Iron, zinc and magnesium are also thought to be particularly important for the brain. Low iron levels are strongly linked to poor mood and concentration. Low magnesium may be linked to anxiety, and low zinc may lead to poor attention and poor sleep.

Oily fish is the best source of omega-3 fats. Red meat, poultry and pulses (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas) are examples of good sources of iron and zinc. Green vegetables, nuts and seeds are all a good source of magnesium. For some children who are not getting enough, increasing their intake of foods containing one or more of these nutrients could make a difference to their mood, behaviour and learning. Talk to a dietitian if you’re concerned about these nutrients for your child.

DIETITIAN’S TIP:  A varied and nutritious diet is the most reliable way to help your child’s developing brain and body get the nutrients it needs. Children (and adults) should eat two servings of fatty fish a week. Choose fish high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, sardines or herring. Plant based sources of Omega-3 include enriched eggs, walnuts & flaxseeds.

Bottom line: Giving your child regular meals and a healthy, well-balanced diet helps their development, mental well-being and physical health. Your child might also benefit from reducing their intake of foods that are low in nutritional value.  If you have questions, or for more information contact us or a Resisted Dietitian in your community. Factsheets on selected topics are also available on Dietitians of Canada website.

Reference: BDA The Association of UK Dietitians, Food Fact Sheet 2017. Source PENNUTRTITION.

Sugar Sugar Everywhere – What’s healthy to eat?

sugar meter N4NN 2017

Sugar, especially added sugar has been under fire for its association with health issues including heart disease, diabetes, dental cavities and obesity. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends limiting added sugars to a maximum of 10% of total calories in a day. For an average 2,000 calorie diet, 10% is about 48 grams or 12 teaspoons of added sugars a day.  Health Canada has set the % Daily Value (%DV) at 100 grams for total sugars per day which includes all added sugars plus naturally occurring sugars.

Here’s our expert dietitian advice:

1. Read the Nutrition Facts table.
Foods with 5 grams or less sugar per serving would be considered to have “a little” sugar whereas foods with 15 grams or more sugar per serving would be considered to have “a lot” of sugar.

2. Read the ingredients list.
Look for ingredients that indicate sugar  such as molasses, agave, fruit juice concentrate, honey, syrup, or end in ‘ose’ (e.g. dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose). By 2021, different sugars will be shown individually and grouped together as “Sugars”.

3. Look at the whole food.
Natural or added sugars are still sugars & contain 4 calories per gram. Just because a food has little or no sugar doesn’t mean that it is a healthy or nutritious choice. Choose wholesome, foods for maximum overall nutrition.

Questions? Contact us 
to discuss how the new sugar labelling laws impact your health and wellness or business communication.

Have you seen the NEW nutrition facts table on foods? Here is an example!

Did you know NEW nutrition facts table formats will be appearing on Canadian packaged foods soon? Since we are experts in developing nutrition facts tables for clients, we wanted to show you what they look like using one of our  veggie recipes, Kohlrabi Soup. In the new Nutrition Facts Table below notice the prominence of calories, a % DV for sugars  and the explanation of  % Daily Values – where 5% or less is a little and 15 % or more is a lot.  Our Kohlrabi soup, per 250ml serving is only 60 calories and gives you 4 grams of fibre (13% of the daily value) making it a good source fibre!  A serving of this soup is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and C. Enjoy it for taste and good health! Consider showing the nutrition information of your foods and recipes through the NEW NFT!  What’s your nutrition facts table question?

kohlrabi NFT Aug 2017

Kohlrabi – How do you eat this unique veggie?

kohlrabi soup 4Kohlrabi is tender, crunchy vegetable, a cousin of cabbage and turnip. Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C and is also a good source of fibre which can help keep you regular, lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar. It’s great tasting raw and cooked! Be sure to peel the rough skin of the bulb before eating, and you can use the leaves like any other green leafy veg. It’s a favourite in our family and here are some ways we enjoy kohlrabi most:

Raw – Kohlrabi adds a lot of crunch and a bit of a kick to dishes. Peel kohlrabi bulbs and then slice, chop or grate. For a veggie snack cut kohlrabi into sticks & serve with a hummus dip, for salads and slaws chop finely or grate.

Cooked – bake, steam or boil as you would with other veggies.  My family loves soups and Kohlrabi soup is favourite. Here is my version of using this fresh veggie for taste and nutrition boost:

Kohlrabi Soup (makes 4 servings)

kohlrabi soup 1

  • 4 kohlrabi bulbs (500 g) peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup kohlrabi leaves finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups ( ~1 liter) water or unsalted vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • hot red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and salt to taste
  1. Peel kohlrabi and onion, dice into small (1 cm cubes)
  2. Wash Kohlrabi leaves well and chop finely
  3. Heat oil in a medium size pot
  4. Add onion and kohlrabi to pot and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring continuously
  5. Add kohlrabi greens saute for 2 more minutes
  6. Cover vegetables with water (or unsalted broth) and bring them to a boil. Cover and simmer until the kohlrabi is tender
  7. Season with chopped parsley, hot red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and salt to taste

Did you know NEW nutrition facts table formats will be appearing on Canadian packaged foods soon? Since we develop nutrition facts tables for clients, we wanted to show you what they look like using this Kohlrabi Soup recipe as an example. See the Nutrition Facts Table below. Notice the prominence of calories and the explanation of  % Daily Values – where 5% is a little and 15 % is a lot.  Our Kohlrabi soup, per 250ml serving is only 60 calories and gives you 4 grams of fibre (13% of the daily value) making it a good source fibre!  A serving of this soup is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and C. Enjoy it for taste and good health! What’s your favourite way to eat kohlrabi? Share your recipes here.

kohlrabi soup NFT

 

 

 

Health Canada Consultations – Let your voice be heard ( NEW OPEN till August 14)

Now is THE time to let your voice be heard about food, nutrition, way of eating and sustainability! We know this comes just before summer vacations, but consider that the policies formed following these three consultations will influence how Canadians hear about food, nutrition and sustainability for years to come.

Health Canada chose Dietitians of Canada annual conference on June 9th to announce the latest federal food and nutrition consultations. As part of the Healthy Eating Strategy, there are 3 public consultations live/on-line now and more are expected in the Fall. Please contact us if you have any questions about what this means to you and your business.

Here is a bird’s eye view of what the consultations are about. We encourage you to let your voice be heard and complete these surveys that will help shape the future of nutrition in Canada.

Canada’s Food Guide Consultation (Phase 2)

Food guide cropped consult'n banner N4NN June 2017

Health Canada is revising Canada’s Food Guide to strengthen its recommendations for healthy eating. This is the second round of consultations that is built on what the government heard from 20,000 Canadians who responded to the first round of consultations in 2016.  If you are using healthy eating recommendations for yourself and others you care about, or to help others through your work, we encourage you to complete the survey and join the discussion. This is your chance to weigh in on key issues related to healthy eating and provide input on the new healthy eating recommendations.

http://www.foodguideconsultation.ca/ EXTENDED open till August 14, 2017.

Marketing to Kids

No ads to kids N4NN June 2017
Image Source Health Canada
Health Canada wants to reduce how much advertising children see or hear about unhealthy food and beverages. “This is a complicated subject so before action can be taken, some questions need to be answered, such as what we mean by unhealthy food and what kind of advertising should be allowed. Your ideas and opinions will help Health Canada decide how to go about restricting advertising for unhealthy food and beverages to children. This consultation document is available online between June 10 and EXTENDED till August 14, 2017.”[1]

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-restricting-unhealthy-food-and-beverage-marketing-to-children.html

[1] Health Canada (2017) Restricting unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children

Canada’s Food Policy

Food Policy N4NN newsletter June 2017

Food matters to Canadians. We “make choices every day about food that directly impacts our health, environment, and communities.” Agriculture Canada would like to help put more affordable, safe, healthy, food on tables across the country, while protecting the environment. This policy will cover the entire food system and you may have heard of the concept as ‘Farm to Fork’. An online survey is now open at www.canada.ca/food-policy and we encourage you to share your views that will help shape Canada’s food policy. Online consultations is open until July 27, 2017