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May 17, 2014 08:48 AM

Do Canadians Eat More Healthily Than US Americans?

I started wondering about this when I saw the photo essay of a week's worth of groceries around the world (I posted it here: Then a Canadian friend said she believes that, overall, Canadians eat more healthily than Americans, maybe not less fat, carbs and so on, but less processed and fast food.

Chowhounds who know both Canada and the US well enough to say something about general eating habits, is this true?

I realize both the US and Canada are big countries with diverse populations and widely varied lifestyles among their residents, but on the whole, what are the differences in the way people eat and relate to food, mealtime, and cooking?


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  1. I believe Canadian consumption of poutine contributes to a longer and healthier life. Their beer is also better.

    16 Replies
    1. re: beevod

      US craft beer production is far more substantial than Canada's.

      1. re: Chinon00

        Qu├ębec has a huge array of craft beers.

        1. re: lagatta

          For sure but nothing like Californ, New England or the Pacific NW.

          1. re: Chinon00

            Of course, California has 5 times more people than Quebec, so it's not like most people would expect Quebec to offer as much variety as California (let alone California, New England and the Pacific NW together).
            That being said, I know a born and bred, craft beer-loving northern Californian, who has never visited Quebec, who considers La Fin du Monde his favourite beer ever made.

            1. re: prima

              La Fin du Monde, Maudite, Don de Dieu, Trois Pistoles, Cheval, etc are all favorites of mine. Having said that I responded to a comment "[Canada's] beer is also better [than America's]". Due to our quality, variety and vastness that's just not a true statement.

              1. re: Chinon00

                I was responding to your reply to lagatta. I would think whether another Chowhound believes Canadian beer is better or worse than American beer is a matter of taste, rather than a matter of fact.

                1. re: prima

                  He didn't say he preferred or liked Canadian beer over American he said "their beer is also better". He made a judgment.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Beevod's statement that Canadian beer is better would be an opinion and a matter of taste, as well as a generalization. Not a judgment based on fact, not a universal truth.

                    But to be clear, I was responding to your reply to lagatta, who is a she. I was never responding to beevod's comment that Canadian beer is better.

                    1. re: prima

                      Ok Quebec does a nice job. And let's hope opinions are based upon more than preferences tho'.

            2. re: Chinon00

              I live in BC and we have 80 plus craft breweries. Im surprised at the amount in the states. Interesting article old but per capita Canada kicks butt and BC has quadrupled its craft breweries since 2011


              1. re: daislander

                Hi, daislander:

                I live in Washington, close enough that Van is within reach.

                Every time I've been in BC, I've been shocked at how expensive beer is, even dreck like Kokanee and Extra Old Stock.

                What's a pint of craft beer go for these days?

                Aloha Eh,

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  All alcoholic beverages, and most non-alcoholic ones, are more expensive in Canada. Remember that there are far more social programmes to pay for, especially healthcare. People in the US have to pay for this through insurance.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    In a restaurant, about 7 bucks. Buying an individual pint can in the LCBO, maybe $3-4.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Canada has lots more taxes on alcoholic beverages, which drives up the price.

                      I would keep in mind that Canada has 1/10th the population the US does, so with equivalent microbrewing communities you'd have about 1/10th the number. California has a larger population that all of Canada.

                      I've had a variety of good micro beers in BC and Ontario, including very local stuff. For example, there's at least two brew pubs in my home town of 60,000 people that sells their own beer in bottles.

                      Unfortunately, Unibroue is the only decent Canadian beer I've seen outside of Canada.

                This Canadian MD addresses the same sort of diet and obesity issues as American ones.

                he wants
                1. An evidence based Food Guide.
                2. A national school food program
                3. A national trans-fat ban
                4. Mandatory menu-board calories

                1. Perhaps expat life promotes equal excesses, but as an American who often moves overseas for years at a time, none of the Canadian expats that I have known (either casually or very well) have had "better" eating habits than my American acquaintances.

                  1. Regarding fast food, I can think of one difference - Tim Hortons


                    1. This debate sort of revolves around what you consider healthy but interested in others' opinions.