CHFA celebrates consumer choice in natural health products



    November is National Health Food Month

    TORONTO, Nov. 7 /CNW/ - The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA)
celebrates freedom of consumer choice during National Health Food Month, a
health promotion campaign that encourages the use of natural and organic
products as key components of good health and disease prevention.
    "Health Canada's Natural Health Products Regulations, which came into
force in 2004, ensure Canadians have access to safe, effective natural health
products (NHPs)," says CHFA President and CEO, Penelope Marrett. "In effect,
the regulations enable Canadians to manage their personal health in the way
they see fit - and that's freedom of choice."
    Canadians are increasingly looking at how natural and organic products
can promote health and/or prevent chronic disease. A consumer attitude study
by Ipsos-Reid in 2005 showed that more than three-quarters of Canadians polled
agreed that NHPs can be used in promoting health and in fact, 75 per cent were
currently purchasing NHPs such as vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbal
remedies as well as sports nutrition and/or weight loss products.
    "A regulated framework increases consumer confidence and facilitates
informed decision making. When people are engaged in their health, it makes a
difference," says Marrett.
    Research supports the notion that when consumers choose NHPs and other
natural over-the-counter options to manage their personal health, the benefits
apply not only to the individual but to the entire health care system as well.
    A 2006 U.S. study by The Lewin Group showed that diabetics who used
supplements were more likely to also engage in protective healthy behaviours
such as lighter drinking and healthier eating than those who did not.
    Billions of dollars could be realized when NHPs are used in the
prevention of such diseases as heart or cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Bruce
Holub, in a report to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2002, wrote that the
daily use of omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed and folic acid, in treating
cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension and stroke,
could save the health care system $6 billion.
    National Health Food Month celebrates the freedom of consumers to choose
safe, effective and high quality NHPs and promotes the use of natural and
organic products as key components of good health and disease prevention.

    The Canadian Health Food Association (www.chfa.ca) is Canada's largest
national trade association dedicated to the natural and organic products
industry. Our members represent the entire supply chain including growers,
manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers involved in
a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements,
herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural and organic
foods, fibres and health and beauty aids. CHFA member products support
Canadians seeking optimal health and quality of life.





For further information:

For further information: on National Health Food Month, contact Natalie
Cajic, Communications Coordinator, at ncajic@chfa.ca or visit www.chfa.ca


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