Federal budget initiatives to reduce health inequities and support sustainable food system

Mar 23, 2017

TORONTO, ON — Yesterday’s federal budget, tabled by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, indicate a commitment to addressing issues that cause health inequities for many Canadian households. Dietitians of Canada applauds the measures that will reduce household food insecurity by supporting income security, strengthen Indigenous communities, and provide targeted funding for home care and mental health services. As well, new funding for innovation in the agri-food sector will contribute to healthy and sustainable food systems in Canada.

“Initiatives outlined in the budget, such as supports for education and job skills, affordable housing, and childcare, should contribute to reduced rates of household food insecurity and address health inequities in the long term, by contributing to income adequacy for vulnerable people,” says Pat Vanderkooy, Manager of Public Affairs for Dietitians of Canada. “Dietitians were also encouraged to see investment to strengthen Indigenous communities, where rates of household food insecurity are two to six times higher than rates among non-Indigenous people and access to safe drinking water is often a concern.”

According to Dietitians of Canada’s position on household food insecurity, over four million Canadian adults and children live in food insecure households – households with limited access to food due to inconsistent income or insufficient financial resources. Adults in food insecure households are more likely to develop multiple chronic physical and/or mental health conditions that can easily double the total cost of health care services required.

“Healthy and sustainable food systems are also a priority of Dietitians of Canada, so we were pleased to see support for innovation in the agriculture and food sector,” says Vanderkooy. “These investments could support sector efforts to produce healthier food products while also reducing environmental impacts and building sustainability within our food system.”

“Dietitians of Canada has actively provided input to federal government departments as they develop long-awaited food and health policies, many of which are related to the priorities we see reflected in this Federal Budget,” adds Vanderkooy.  “Dietitians have and will continue to provide feedback on proposed regulatory changes that support actions within Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy. Dietitians of Canada has also advocated for improvements in the Nutrition North Canada program and are preparing to participate in consultations during the development of the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and a National Food Policy.”

About Dietitians of Canada
Dietitians of Canada is the professional association for dietitians, representing members at the local, provincial and national level. As the voice of the profession, Dietitians of Canada strives for excellence in advancing health through food and nutrition.

Dietitians of Canada supports the access of Canadians to evidence-based food and nutrition information and helps them locate a dietitian for nutrition counselling and nutrition services at dietitians.ca/find.

Read Dietitians of Canada’s position and recommendations on household food insecurity.
Read Dietitians of Canada’s position on Mental Health and the role of dietitians.

Additional Information:

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kate Comeau, MSc, RD
Manager of Public Relations and Media
Dietitans of Canada


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