March was Nutrition Month 2016
“Make small changes, one meal at a time,” suggest the Dieticians of Canada as a realistic way to develop and stick to new eating habits.
The national 2015 Tracking Nutrition Trends survey revealed a significant 35 per cent drop in people who made a change to improve their eating habits between 2013 and 2015. The Dieticians of Canada chose March, designated as Nutrition Month in Canada, as the starting point of a concerted move to reverse this trend and inspire Canadians to take a step towards improving their health.
“We are on a mission to help Canadians across the country take a small step toward better health this Nutrition Month,” says Emily Mardell, a Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month spokesperson from Edmonton. ”Too many changes at once can be overwhelming, which is one reason people give up. Instead, we want Canadians to pick one change and practise it over 100 meals, a month’s worth of regular eating.”
The statistics are cause for concern.Half of Canadians (52%) over the age of 20 live with a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease and four out of five are at risk, with diet and lifestyle being major factors. Dietitians of Canada is determined to see a reduction in these numbers.
“If everyone just picks one small change, and practices it over the next 100 meals, Canadians across the country would be off to a great start,” says Laurie Barker Jackman, a Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month spokesperson from Halifax.The organization has created a webpage for the 100 Meal Journey pledge at www.NutritionMonth2016.ca with encouragement, tips and recipes.
Canadians will consume almost 100 meals in March. Each week during the journey dietitians across Canada will share tips, strategies and ideas to encourage and guide Canadians through the process of making a change.
Weekly Themes Include:
- Week one: Get Ready! After pledging to take a 100 Meal Journey, we’ll suggest ideas, strategies and tools like eaTracker to make identifying and committing to a change less daunting.
- Week two: Quality Counts! This week focuses on ideas for enjoying nourishing, nutrient rich foods and encourages Canadians to cook more often.
- Week three: Prioritize Portion Size! This week features portion awareness including environmental cues that cause us to overeat and tips to help choose right-sized portions.
- Week four: Try Something New! To keep things interesting, this week entices Canadians to try a new food, recipe or tasty ingredient.
- Week five: Make it Stick! Every journey encounters detours along the way. This week, dietitians will equip Canadians with doable strategies to stick with the change they’ve made during their 100 Meal Journey.
Let us know if you adopt a 100 Meal Challenge in your program - we'd love to feature your story in the next edition of the Keeping in Touch newsletter.
Dietitians of Canada is the professional association for dietitians, representing 6000 members at the local, provincial and national levels. The Nutrition Month Campaign has been led by Dietitians of Canada for 35 years. For more information, visit www.dietitians.ca
About the Tracking Nutrition Trends Survey The Tracking Nutrition Trends (TNT) survey was established in 1989 and is conducted by The Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research (CFDR). It is believed to be the longest standing nutrition tracking study in Canada. In the 2015 iteration, a total of 1,504 adult Canadians across Canada were surveyed online by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group. The margin of error is +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.