Health Canada is introducing new nutrition labelling regulations for packaged foods requiring a symbol on the front of packages indicating that a food is high in saturated fat, sugars and/or sodium. The regulations will come into effect on July 20, 2022.
The new front-of-package (FOP) nutrition symbol includes a magnifying glass, intended to capture people’s attention and act as a quick and easy visual cue to identify foods high in these three nutrients. The FOP nutrition symbol will complement the Nutrition Facts table, displayed on the back of food packages, to help Canadians make more informed food choices.
Saturated fat, sugars and sodium are nutrients of concern; evidence is clear that high intakes of saturated fat, sugars and/or sodium can contribute to various diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
FOP nutrition labelling is widely recognized by health organizations and the scientific community as an effective tool to help counteract rising rates of diet-related chronic disease. For example, FOP nutrition labelling has been successful in Chile, where it is estimated that household food purchases contained 37% less sodium and 27% less sugar after the country implemented a similar front-of-package labelling system to the one Canada is implementing.
The food industry has been given until January 1, 2026, to make this change.