Eating behavior in Canada - Statistics & Facts

With more data available than ever about what constitutes healthy eating behavior, people are under pressure to change their behaviors in order to improve their overall health. The New Year is an especially popular time to make such commitments. Among Canadians, around 35 percent are making an effort to drink more water as of January 2019. The primary motivator for changing one’s eating behavior is weight loss, followed by the desire to protect one’s long-term health. Although only about 2.3 percent and 7.1 percent of Canadians adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet, respectively, some 32 percent of Canadians observe some sort of committed dietary regimen. Canadians also tend to have a taste for ethnic cuisine and experimenting with new and exciting foods. Some of the most popular ethnic cuisines to cook at home in Canada are Italian, American, and Mexican cuisine. However, Canadians seem to prefer eating Chinese food at restaurants rather than cooking it themselves.

It is a common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and about 60 percent of Canadian consumers eat breakfast every day. Among breakfast eating Canadians, around 30 percent prefer a bagel breakfast sandwich, followed by croissants and English muffins. As for lunch, over half of Canadians eat lunch at home during the week. On average, home cooked meals are less caloric and more nutritious than meals at restaurants, and nearly 90 percent of Canadians cook dinner at home at least three or four times per week. Among Canadians who do not frequently cook dinner at home, the top reason for not doing so was that they were too busy to cook, or they do not enjoying cooking.

Canada is home to approximately 2.3 million vegetarians and 850,000 vegans. As of March 2018, the majority of vegetarians and vegans reside in British Columbia and Ontario. Although the majority of Canadians are meat eaters, about a third of Canadians are willing to try pea protein as an alternative to meat. Some of the most controversial ingredients among Canadian consumers are MSG, artificial sweeteners, food packaged in BPA plastic, and antibiotics or hormones.

Canadians seem to be scrupulous consumers when it comes to food. According to a March 2017 survey, around 35 percent of Canadians always read labels on food packages. In addition, the majority of Canadians are willing to sacrifice taste in favor of health benefits at least some of the time. The most common consumer views for what consists of a healthy meal in Canada are an abundance of fruits and vegetables, low sugar, low salt and all-natural ingredients.

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Eating behavior in Canada

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