Canada Stresses the Importance of Drinking Water in New Food Guide

January 28, 2019



Canada’s Food Guide has just been revised and it encourages Canadians to make water their “beverage of choice.”  The Food Guide’s new dietary advice graphic is a colorful photograph of a plate with a glass of water beside it. This graphic replaces the rainbow image.


The Guide says, “Sugary drinks … should not be consumed regularly” and defines sugary drinks as including soft drinks, fruit-flavoured drinks, 100% fruit juice, flavoured waters with added sugars, sport and energy drinks, and other sweetened hot or cold beverages, such as iced tea, cold coffee beverages, sweetened milks, and sweetened plant-based beverages.”


This guidance may be found in the Food Guide, Section 2 "Foods and beverages that undermine healthy eating".


The Globe and Mail reports, “The new Canada’s Food Guide explained: Goodbye four food groups and serving sizes, hello hydration.”


The instruction encouraging Canadians to make water their “beverage of choice” is meant to fulfill two purposes: to promote hydration, and also to limit the consumption of sugary or alcoholic beverages. “In 2015,” the guide says, “sugary drinks were the main sources of total sugars in the diets of Canadians, with children and adolescents having the highest average daily intake.”


"And while previous versions of Canada’s Food Guide had recommended 100-per-cent fruit juice as a healthy option equivalent to a serving of fruit, the new version reverses this – despite heavy lobbying from the beverage industry, as reported by The Globe. The new guide labels 100-per-cent fruit juice as a “sugary drink” associated with dental decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes."


The United States is also in the midst of developing new dietary guidance. Visit our Take Action page for updates on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans development process.

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