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A look at how food guidelines have changed

Canada's first food guide, the Official Food Rules, was introduced to the public in July 1942. This guide acknowledged wartime food rationing, while endeavoring to prevent nutritional deficiencies and to improve the health of Canadians.

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In 1944, the Canadian Council on Nutrition approved Canada's Food Rules, removing the term "official". At this time, numerous changes to the content of the publication were made.

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In 1949, the Canadian Council on Nutrition clarified the Food Rules. The guide is criticized for being updated too infrequently and focusing too much on industry interests.

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In the 1961 version of the food guide, food choices broadened and language softened. "Guide" replaced "Rules" in the title.

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The dramatic new look of 1977 food guide grouped colourful pictures of food in a wheel-like fashion. Several other innovations were also introduced,. For example, four food groups, instead of five, appeared -- fruits and vegetables were combined since their nutrient contributions overlapped.

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The 1977 landmark Report of the Committee on Diet and Cardiovascular Disease21 advised the government to take action to prevent diet-related chronic diseases, contributing to the development of four national Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians. The report and recommendations, together with findings from an evaluation of the 1977 Food Guide and Handbook, prompted the 1982 revision.

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The cover of the 1992 Canada Food Guide.

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Canada’s current food guide, published in 2007.

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