Consumer Corner: The Impact of Health on Eating Behavior of Canadians

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 Background | Some key findings of “NPD Eating Patterns in Canada Report” in 2009 | What Canadians have been doing to eat healthy? | Did you know these about snacking?

Obesity has become a crisis in North America. The direct cost of obesity in Canada has been estimated $6 billion in 2006. In this context, it is important to look at Canadians’ attitudes and behavior when it comes to health and healthy eating.

Some Key Findings of “NPD Eating Patterns in Canada Report” in 2009

Percentage deaths in Canada due to specific diseases (2009)

BMI grouping for Canadians

Formula calculation
BMI= [Height(m) X Height (m)]/Weight (Kgs)

Healthy Range18.5.5 -24.9
  • Just over half of all Canadians are classified as being overweight or obese.
  • Those in lower income households are more likely to be obese, but their desire to eat healthy remains.

  • Surprisingly, there is a growing trend towards being underweight among those under 18 years.
  • Over half of Canadians feel they need to lose weight.
What Canadians Have Been Doing to Eat Healthy?
  • According to Health Track Canada (2003-2009), respondents avoid tans fat (81%), consume less fat (79%) and cholesterol (69%) and avoid fried foods (61%) which adversely affect the heart health.
  • Canadians are trying to consume more of...

  • As Canadians age, they’re more likely to check labels on the foods and beverages they purchase.
  • Consumers are increasingly looking for foods that are fortified with ingredients that promote ‘heart health’.
    The top label claims for beverages and foods

  • As a nation Canadians are looking for healthy and balanced options in their diet.

Top growing food categories include ‘better for you’ foods confirms above.
Food Category ('09 vs '05)
Pork (ex pork chops)53%
Snack bars42%
Tortilla Chips33%
Hot Cereals29%
A/O Pasta25%
Potato Chips23%
Pizza- Novelties23%
Chicken (ex. Wings/nuggets)17%
  • Canadians’ margarine consumption has declined while butter consumption has remained more or less constant over the years. Olive oil is becoming an alternative in the kitchen.
  • As experts tell consumers that eating in the evening promotes weight gain, Canadians are eating earlier in the day, and less at night.  However, Canadians are not skipping out dinner, but they are snacking less.
Did you know these about snacking?......
  • Those who are overweight or obese snack less frequently.
  • Regardless of weight Canadians generally snack at the same time of day.
  • For the most part, individuals of optimal weight are not eating healthier snacks than those who are overweight based on their choices….BUT Canadians who are of optimal weight are more likely to eat more fruit as a snack more often.
  • Consumers who are obese drink significantly more carbonated drinks than who are not obese….BUT levels are declining as bottled water consumption increases.
  • Snack foods eaten in the morning tend to be chosen with health in mind, and those in the evening with indulgence in mind.

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Consumer Corner: The Morning Rush: Breakfast Trends in Canada
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Consumer Corner: Local Impact of a Global Crisis: Increasing Food Prices
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Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 2: Consumption Habits of Boomers by Meal Occasions
Consumer Corner: Eating Pattern Recession - Part 3
Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 1: Profile of Boomers, Their Food Consumption Habits and Attitudes
Consumer Corner: Sodium/Salt and Canadian Diet: Pass the Salt Please! or Hold the Salt Please!
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada -- Part 2
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada - Part 1
Consumer Corner: The Impact of Health on Eating Behavior of Canadians - Current Document
Consumer Corner: Emerging Consumer Demand for Premium Foods & Beverages in Canada (Qualitative Research Evaluation)
Consumer Corner: Factors Influencing Pulse Consumption in Canada
Consumer Corner: Health and Wellness
Consumer Corner: Dinner Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Breakfast Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Food Trends 2009
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jeewani Fernando.
This document is maintained by Erminia Guercio.
This information published to the web on August 31, 2010.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 14, 2018.