Media Kit

Health Check backgrounder

Health Check the food information program of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, helps Canadians make wise food choices. Health Check provides consumers with a quick visual reference (a symbol) on food packaging and, in a growing number of restaurants, beside healthy menu options. The symbol guarantees the food product or menu item has met specific nutrient criteria developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians, based on Canada's Food Guide. These criteria continue to evolve to remain relevant to the latest scientific evidence, federal regulations, the policies of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and eating habits of Canadians. Recently, Health Check has added new criteria around sugar and trans fats and has strengthened existing criteria for fat, fibre, and sodium.
 

Key messages Health Check in grocery stores

  • Launched in 1999, Health Check is the food information program of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
  • This program, similar to Canada’s Food Guide, is intended for generally healthy Canadians. It identifies healthy food choices that contribute to healthy eating in general terms, not just heart healthy eating. 
     

Key messages – Health Check in restaurants

  • In 1999, the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched Health Check an on-pack food information program to help Canadians make healthy food choices when they buy their groceries. The program has grown every year and now includes over 200 brands representing over 1800 products. Health Check expanded into restaurants in 2005.
  • Health Check is intended for healthy Canadians over the age of two. It identifies healthy food choices that contribute to overall healthy eating, not just heart healthy eating. 
     

What Consumers are saying about Health Check

Eight out of every ten consumers are aware of Health Check™

  • 78% of consumers are aware of Health Check
  • 90% have seen the symbol on food packaging or in the grocery store
  • 74% of consumers say that Health Check helps them make wise food choices 
     

Health Check facts and stats

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check food information program was launched in 1999.

Health Check includes over 200 licensed brands and more than 1800 products, in every food group and in virtually every grocery aisle.

Food companies that submit their products to the program for evaluation can do so in more than 75 different food categories.

8 out of every 10 primary grocery shoppers are aware of Health Check1

Of those aware of Health Check, 87% have seen the symbol on food packaging or in the grocery store.

More than 7 out of 10 say they can trust Health Check because it is a program of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Consumers understand the symbol to mean “healthy,” “good for you,” and “approved by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”2

Shoppers are more likely (64%) to purchase a food or beverage product if it has the Health Check symbol.

The Health Check website receives on average 10,000 visitors every month.

In 2006, Health Check expanded in the restaurant sector. Participants in the Health Check restaurant program include Swiss Chalet, White Spot, Boston Pizza, Druxy’s, Red Robin and BC Ferries.