Canada’s Highest Dessert Consuming Province Has the Lowest Rate of Obesity
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As the “chocoholic dietitian” and advocate for enjoying both healthful and soulful foods I was delighted to learn that Quebecers consume 30% more dessert with supper than any province in Canada.  Quebecers also have the lowest proportion of obese adults in the country (22%).

The results were released by the market research company, the NPD Group in the 15th edition of the Eating Patterns in Canada (EPIC) report.  In Quebec dessert was consumed with supper 112 meals annual per capita as opposed to 89 in Atlantic Canada, 57 in Ontario and 55 on the west coast.

Quebecers were also more likely to take great pleasure in eating with 82% saying it is important to enjoy full and regular meals each day versus 60% of western Canadians and 63% of Ontarians.  Quebecers snack less and are less likely to skip meals since they favor satisfying meals.

What can we learn from this study and other eaters that balance health and pleasure? 

  • Promote permission
    • There is no need to sacrifice pleasure, taste or restrict any specific food to manage a healthy weight.  You can achieve health without guilt or complexity.
    • Eating should be an experience. The word “diet” actually means “a way of life” in Latin.
  • Seek satisfaction
    • We all have unique intuitive hunger patterns.  There is value in ending a meal satisfied that you truly had enough.  If you leave a meal unsatisfied because you think you “should” stop and to avoid guilt you may find yourself overeating later.  There is a basic philosophy that suggests we all want what we can’t have.  Deprivation leads to overconsumption.
  • Slow down and savor your bites
    • Give your brain and stomach time to communicate and notice satisfaction.
    • Economists use a term called the law of diminishing marginal utility. When applied to food, this can be summarized as the first bite of food tasting the best. Bites of food that follow will be progressively lower in enjoyment and taste.
  • Ditch distraction
    • What are you doing while you are eating? Just because you could eat your lunch at your desk while you are on the computer doesn’t mean you should.  Just because you could eat in front of the TV doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
    • Your brain, eyes and stomach don’t have a hope of communicating fullness cues if you are doing other things while eating.
  • Crave connection
    • Most people eat better when they eat together. Research shows sitting down for a family meal is not only good for your nutrition but is one way to protect your kids from obesity, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and more. If you live alone and feel like cooking for one is a chore, be sure to co-ordinate some social meals.
    • Work is another type of family.  Be a leader and encourage people to leave their desks and join you for lunch. Organizations that eat breakfast or lunch together regularly have been shown to improve team cohesion and productivity since they return to work less distracted, having had time to socialize.


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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

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I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
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I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
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ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
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