Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 91, Issue 5, pp 381–385 | Cite as

Food Habits of Canadians: Reduction in Fat Intake Over a Generation

  • Katherine Gray-DonaldEmail author
  • Linda Jacobs-Starkey
  • Louise Johnson-Down


Purpose: A national survey of adult Canadians (n=1,544) was recently undertaken (1997–1998) to monitor whether changes in dietary intake have occurred since the last Canadian dietary survey, conducted a generation ago (1970).

Methods: Individuals from randomly selected households from a stratified sample of 80 enumeration areas from five regions of Canada were interviewed by a dietitian at home for a 24-hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaire.

Results: The mean dietary % energy from protein (16–18%), carbohydrate (50–56%) and fat (29–31%) was close to recommended levels in the different age-sex groups. Fat intake was reduced from previous surveys. Intakes of dairy products and fruits and vegetables are lower than recommended. Nutrient values at the 25th percentile of the nutrient distribution, were below recommended levels for calcium, folate, iron and zinc among women.

Conclusion: Despite the growing problem of obesity, Canadians are eating less fat than a generation ago but intake of certain nutrients are still suboptimal.


Objectif: Une étude nationale sur des Canadiens adultes (n=1 544) fut récemment entreprise (1997–1998) pour vérifier si des changements dans la prise alimentaire étaient survenus depuis la dernière étude il y a une génération (1970).

Méthodes: Des individus furent interviewés à la maison pour répondre à un questionnaire sur le rappel nutritionnel de 24 heures et la fréquence de prise alimentaire parmi des foyers sélectionnés au hasard à partir d’un échantillon stratifié de 80 territoires énumérés venant de cinq régions du Canada.

Résultats: Le pourcentage moyen d’énergie provenant de protéines (16–18 %), des hydrates de carbone (50–56 %) et du gras (29–31 %) était près des niveaux recommandés. La prise de matières grasses avait diminué depuis les études précédentes. La prise de produits laitiers et de fruits et légumes est au-dessous de la recommandation. Les valeurs nutritives au 25e percentile de la distribution nutritionnelle, étaient au dessous des niveaux recommandés pour le calcium, l’acide folique, le fer et le zinc chez les femmes.

Conclusion: Malgré le problème croissant d’obésité, les Canadiens consomment moins de gras qu’il y a une génération mais la prise de certains nutriments est toujours sous-optimal.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Gray-Donald
    • 1
    Email author
  • Linda Jacobs-Starkey
    • 1
  • Louise Johnson-Down
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Dietetics and Human NutritionMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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