Do seafood consumers have a higher diet quality compared to non-consumers? A Canadian perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada

2 School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada


Seafood represents a nutritious source of protein for many Canadians, including substantial amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and niacin. Many national and international dietary guidelines recommend regular consumption of seafood to support a healthy diet. The consumption of seafood continues to gain public attention due to its role in a healthy diet and its influence on environmental sustainability. The aim of this analysis was to further our knowledge and understanding of the trends in the availability of seafood accessible for human consumption, the sociodemographic and socio-economic impact on consumption, and the associated health and nutritional impact of consumption in Canada. Statistics Canada food availability data and the Canadian Community Health Survey were used to assess our objectives. Food and nutrient intakes were calculated based on 24-hour dietary recall data. Overall, approximately 21% of Canadians reportedly consumed seafood on any given day in 2015/16. Higher odds of seafood consumption occurred in an older population, Canadians residing in Western Canada, and immigrants to Canada. Diet quality, measured using the nutrient-rich food index score, was significantly higher among seafood consumers compared to nonconsumers. Further research should be completed to quantify the health effects of seafood consumption among Canadians.

Graphical Abstract

Do seafood consumers have a higher diet quality compared to non-consumers? A Canadian perspective


  • Seafood available for human consumption in Canada has been fairly consistent from 1990 to 2020, contributing to 8% of total protein foods available (2020), despite emerging dietary recommendations promoting the inclusion of moderate amounts of seafood in a healthy diet.
  • Age and sex are statistically significant determinants of seafood consumption, such that being older and male increases the odds of being a seafood consumer.
  • Immigrants to Canada have higher odds of being seafood consumers compared to Canadian-born individuals.
  • Canadians residing in Western Canada have higher odds of being seafood consumers compared to individuals from Central Canada.
  • Compared to non-consumers, seafood consumers have a superior diet quality, as determined by a higher nutrient-rich food (NRF) index score.


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