An open letter was sent to Health Canada in December 2016. We have now written a rebuttal letter following review of Health Canada's initial proposed food guide changes.
(December 16, 2016)
(July 24, 2017)
We are a group of concerned Canadian physicians who have been working very hard to make sure Canada's new Dietary Guidelines are based on evidence.
The main problem with the current dietary guidelines is that low quality, high carbohydrate filler foods such as refined starch and sugar are pushed as the foundation of the diet. For the vast majority of the population, these mostly empty filler foods add calories with minimal nutrition.
The rates of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome and other dietary diseases have skyrocketed in the last several decades, and there is a definite association between the dramatic increase in these conditions and the introduction of the low fat dietary guidelines. Although this would probably come as a surprise to most Canadians, we now know that the the current low fat guidelines were never supported by evidence.
It is also noted that since we issued the low fat dietary guidelines, the costs associated with treating diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome are expected to bankrupt out health care system.
A recent report of the Heart and Stroke Foundation states that sugar sweetened beverages alone will cost our health care system 50 billion dollars in the next 25 years.
As physicians, we have a responsibility to advocate for change to these dietary guidelines, and as a profession, we have been too complacent for too long.
The information we collect will only be added to the open letter to Health Canada and Health Ministers (federal and provincial). The letter will also be shared and promoted through media outlets.