Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 13/Page 13.0

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Trends for Food in Nutrition and Health

13.0 Overview

In Lesson 1 we discussed the Canadian Food System, including the trends in food consumption. Today, these consumption patterns are including a new trend in foods that provide health benefits to consumers - in other words, an interest in the linkages between Food, Nutrition and Health.

There has been a lot of confusion about the terms used to describe this new category of food products, often referred to as "functional foods", that are consumed beyond meeting nutritional needs and to promote health and/or to reduce the risk of disease.

In this lesson we will examine the concepts of functional foods, natural health products and probiotics, as well as their use in today's food industry. We will also learn about the recent establishment of the Directorate of Natural and Non-prescription Health Products, for those products which are deemed neither food nor drug, and about the ongoing activities related to addressing regulations of health claims for foods.


Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:

  • explain what functional foods, natural health products, probiotics, and natural and non-prescription health products are, based on the Canadian definitions;
  • articulate your personal position about trends, labelling and regulations related to these products
  • demonstrate an ability to find information relevant to regulation of natural and non-prescription health products in Canada