March is nutrition month - a great opportunity to initiate conversations about food and nutrition issues. According to the Dietitians of Canada, the ingredients for a better tomorrow interact as complex factors moving towards a sustainable food system.
A little bit of history
Nutrition month began in the seventies with a small group of community dietitians as a “Nutrition Week”. A few dietitians began planning activities in several settings like workplaces, shopping malls, librairies and with the media. In 1981, all provincial associations jointly participated in the first National Nutrition Week.
Increasing public awareness about the importance of healthy eating was the goal as well as identifying dietitians as the most credible source of food and nutrition information. In 1982 the campaign was extended through a month and focused on food, nutrition and Canadian dietitians.
A theme is selected yearly and for 2022 the focus is on the following factors:
The significant effect of poverty and food insecurity on health is recognized by dietitians. They consider the food security status of their clients when providing advice and support. They also advocate for systems-level change.
Dietitians help people make the right food decisions by communicating evidence-based nutrition information and encouraging the acquisition of food skills. Additionally, dietitians address the external influences that impact people’s food decisions.
The belief that every Canadian has a right to food that is healthy and culturally appropriate is what dietitians value. Producing food in a sustainable and equitable way while promoting the rights of people and the sacredness of food is also important.
Sustainable food choices
Dietitians are leaders in food and nutrition and also shape individual, institutional and population-wide food choices for healthier tomorrow.
Nutrition care and prevention
The support of individuals and communities for a healthier future is possible through care and prevention. Dietitians also help build better environments where people live, work and play.
The big picture: sustainability in food systems
According to the Dietitians of Canada:
-They steward and enhance ecosystems, and respect the needs of other species in those ecosystems.
-Are sovereign and self-sufficient while supporting other nations’ food sovereignty.
-They support food literacy.
-They support equitable and just access to food for all Canadians in a way that is empowering, inclusive, dignifying and respectful.
-They support a healthy relationship with food, such that Canadians value food, its origin and quality, and express identity and culture through food.
This article is featured on the Nutrioso Blog