Canadians Eschew Healthy Diets Despite Efforts

Armen Hareyan's picture
Healthy Food

Despite all the efforts of outreach many Canadians still don't follow healthy diet plans and eating habits. Less than 30 percent of the people in Montreal are conscious about healthy food. People continue to avoid diets that are said to be healthy and include fruits, vegetables, dairy products and whole grains. The Healthy Agency of Montréal noted again this morning showing what types of food the citizens have chosen to consume between 2002 to 2007. The study focused particularly on foods selected for their value added for a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, milk and cheese, whole grain bread and legumes.

The health statistics don't look good at all in Montreal. Nearly 70% in the city do not consume fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day, as suggested by Canada's Food Guide. Government educational campaigns aimed to prompt people to follow healthy diet plans have been done before too. However, as the 200-2007 statistics show the situation was bleak then and has not improved since. The report also shows that 40% of the population in Montreal within walking distance has no access to a market that sells fruit and vegetables.

However, there is some good news when it comes to whole grains consumptions. Just over half of the people in the city consume whole grain bread once daily, and nearly 60% of the population eats vegetables once or more per week.


Whether one keeps his diet healthy or no is a personal matter. However, your choices of food have significant impact on chronic disease. The government makes these studies to better address the public health. However, as shown in the study, income, education, sex and being a couple or not greatly influence eating habits. With factors like this, it will take a lot more than just information messages and outreach to convince people to eat healthy. For many, it means eat differently.

The report reveals that in general, women seem to eat healthier than men. But on a more encouraging note, the gap seems to diminish with time. Also, healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables are not considered very popular among young people between the ages of 15 to 24. Only milk and cheese are consumed in good portions recommended for this age group.

The Public Health Department of Montreal was assisted with the University of Montreal in producing this report on healthy dietary habits. Together they interviewed about 1,000 people in the city aged 15 and older.

The results of this study highlights the urgent need to do more targeted campaigns to help the citizens of Montreal to improve the quality of food in their daily diet. Poor nutrition is linked to 90 percent of diabetes related deaths and 80% of deaths related to cardiovascular diseases and one third of cancer deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Canada.

Written by Armen Hareyan