More than 5,000 people sign petition to drop weight gain guidelines
More than 50,000 Canadians have signed a petition calling on the federal government to stop enforcing the strict guidelines set by the country’s public health agency to prevent people from gaining weight.
The petition calls for the federal Health Minister to “drop the strict weight loss guidelines and instead support the healthy eating recommendations from the World Health Organization and Canadian Medical Association,” which are “essential to helping Canadians meet their health needs.”
The federal Health Department declined to comment on the petition, but told The Canadian Press the guidelines are “important for people who are looking to lose a significant amount of weight” and for people whose weight has fallen below a certain point.
It is “common knowledge” that people who do not adhere to a strict diet can become overweight and obese.
But Health Canada has recommended that individuals who want to lose the bulk of their weight lose 10 per cent of their body weight over a year and a half.
Health Canada says that the weight loss recommendations apply to people aged 18 to 65 and to people with “an underlying disease” or condition.
It does not specifically address people who have already lost weight.
It’s not uncommon for people to lose fat and get it back within a year, but that is not the case for many people who follow the guidelines.
The Canadian Association of Registered Dietitians says the guidelines have been in place for almost 30 years, but there has been a surge in obesity in recent years.
The association says it is “not unusual” for people with a BMI under 30 to be overweight, but many don’t follow the weight-loss guidelines.
More than 30,000 comments on the government’s website have been submitted to Health Canada since last October, according to the Association.
More to come.