Health Reports

A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

June 2020

Change in vegetable and fruit consumption in Canada between 2004 and 2015

by Jane Y. Polsky and Didier Garriguet

Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis is the foundation of a healthy diet and helps to protect against a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In the most recently issued national dietary guidelines, the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide (CFG), vegetables and fruits lead the list of nutritious foods that should be consumed regularly, along with whole grains and protein foods. The 2019 CFG also recommends eating “plenty of vegetables and fruits,” and advises Canadians to “try making half of your plate vegetables and fruits” and to “replace juice with water.” These recommendations are generally consistent with those outlined in the previous 2007 edition of the CFG, which also stressed the importance of consuming a variety of vegetables and fruits every day for optimal diet and health, and recommended consuming fruit more often than juice. Unlike the 2019 CFG, the 2007 CFG offered specific guidance about the types and amounts of vegetables and fruits to consume. This included guidance to “eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day,” and age- and sex-specific numbers of recommended daily vegetable and fruit servings.

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Change in vegetable and fruit consumption in Canada between 2004 and 2015

Provincial variations in birth outcomes according to maternal country of birth, 2000 to 2016

by Janelle Boram Lee, Aynslie Hinds and Marcelo L. Urquia

In Canada, information on birth outcomes is routinely collected at the provincial and national levels through birth registrations and hospital records. These data are useful to understand perinatal health at the population level and its variations according to key sociodemographic characteristics, such as immigration status. Immigration is the main source of population growth in Canada; together, immigrants and second-generation individuals are projected to account for 1 out of 2 people by 2036. Studies on differences in perinatal outcomes between immigrant groups and non-immigrants have provided conflicting results, mainly because of the heterogeneity of study populations, data sources and analytic approaches. The perinatal health of infants born in Canada to immigrant mothers has primarily been studied using linked population-based provincial databases, and, more recently, using national data. Based on the level of geography results are presented at, there are concerns about the generalizability of results from province to province, from a particular province to the national level, and from the national level to the provincial level. For a single immigrant group, differences in birth outcomes may exist between Canadian provinces because of selection factors (e.g., provincial immigration programs and language), different post-migration experiences, or a combination of the two. Little is known about whether observed associations between maternal birthplace and birth outcomes are consistent across provinces.

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Provincial variations in birth outcomes according to maternal country of birth, 2000 to 2016

Understanding the perceived mental health of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic

by Leanne C. Findlay, Rubab Arim, and Dafna Kohen

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) an international public health emergency on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11. Governments and public health authorities worldwide have initiated public health plans to mitigate risks created by the virus, including strict physical distancing, extreme reductions in travel and closures of many businesses and schools. Although the impact on physical health is substantial (including hospitalizations and deaths), the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of Canadians is less clear.

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Understanding the perceived mental health of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic

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