MHLU - Health Status Resource

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Key Findings: 

Healthy eating is important in reducing chronic conditions and disease. Risk of conditions such as hypertension and obesity can be mitigated with increased consumption of vegetables and fruits which, in turn, reduces the risk of conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to Canada’s Food Guide, nutritious foods, like vegetables and fruit should be consumed regularly, as part of a healthy diet.

About one-third of the population of Middlesex-London (31.0%) consumed vegetables and fruits five or more times per day. There was no difference seen between Middlesex-London, Ontario or the Peer Group (Figure 6.3.1).

Females (37.8%) were significantly more likely to consume vegetables and fruits five or more times per day than males (23.7%) (Figure 6.3.2)

No significant differences were seen by age, urban/rural, income, education or employment level (not shown).

Just over one-quarter of youth aged 12–17 (27.4%) reported consuming vegetables and fruits five or more times per day. Although slightly higher than the geographic comparators, Middlesex-London youth did not have significantly higher rates of fruit and vegetable consumption that ON or the Peer Group.

Interpretation
The new Canada’s Food Guide, released in January 2019, recommends eating plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grain foods and protein foods. The guide recommends choosing protein foods from plant sources more often. Vegetables and fruit are healthy snacks. When planning meals, vegetables and fruit should make up half of the plate.2 In a large US study, women were found to be more likely to consume vegetables and fruit compared to men; these findings were observed in Middlesex-London in 2015/16.3 Unfortunately there are very few healthy eating indicators with available data in Middlesex-London. This is an area for development in the future.

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability – Chronic Disease Prevention and Well-Being (page 28)

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2018

References:

1. Boeing H, Bechthold A, Bub A, Ellinger S, Haller D, Kroke A, Leschik-Bonnet E, Müller M, Oberritter H, Schulze M, Stehle P, Watzl B. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2012 Sep [cited 2019 May 7];51(6):637–63. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3419346/pdf/394_2012_Articl...

2. Government of Canada [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Government of Canada; [modified 2019 May 1]. Canada’s food guide: eat vegetables and fruits; [updated 2019 Apr 1; cited 2019 Apr 17]; [about 5 screens]. Available from: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/make-it-a...

3. Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, Galuska D. Disparities in state-specific adult fruit and vegetable consumption - United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep [Internet]. 2017 Nov 17 [cited 2019 Apr 30];66(45):1241–7. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6645a1.htm

Last modified on: July 9, 2019