A survey was carried out in 1988-89 among French Canadians in Montreal, to provide data on food habits, dietary intakes and sociodemographic factors.
Interviewer-administered questionnaires and 7-day food records (7D-FR) were used to gather data.
Some 1,450 individuals (in 845 families) were studied. Complete 7D-FR and sociodemographic data were obtained from 182 children aged 5-18 (44.8% males), and 614 adults aged 19 and over (40.1% males). Most adult respondents greatly surpassed their age-sex specific Canadian Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs), except for low mean energy intakes in women aged 75 years and over (on average, 1477 kcal), and marginally lower than recommended mean calcium consumption, again in the oldest age group (particularly men). Protein furnished 16 to 17% of energy, relative fat intake varied from 34% of energy among the oldest subjects to 38% in 25 to 49 year old women (overall average, 36%). Only 15.3% of respondents consumed < or = 30% relative fat intake; most (66%) were female. Carbohydrate ranged from 45 to 49% (51%) among males and females, respectively. The oldest age group had the highest relative intake of carbohydrates. Saturated fat was 13 to 14% of energy, and the mean P:S ratio was low (.30 to .37). Some respondents had insufficient intakes relative to their RNIs, notably for energy (6.5% of the whole sample; of these, 52.5% were male) and calcium (22.5%; 69.6% females). Contingency table analysis showed this was most evident among participants of low income and education levels, smokers, and female non-smokers.
French Canadian Montreal adults don't meet the Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians with respect to lowering fat and saturated fat, and increasing complex carbohydrate intakes. Attention should be directed to ensuring adequate consumption of calcium-rich foods, particularly among women in susceptible stages of the lifecycle. Although average alcohol intakes appeared low, some individuals reported high levels of consumption of beer, wine or spirits which suggests the need for further investigation of population alcohol intakes and their effect on dietary choices and nutritional adequacy.