Frequently Asked Questions

Intended Use of foodphoto

The purpose of foodphoto is to provide high quality photographs of foods commonly consumed, along with associated nutrition information. The photos are available in various sizes and resolutions, having been photographed from a number of consistent angles, focal lengths and distances. The primary intent of the photographs is to facilitate visual education of, or research involving, consumers about typical Canada's Food Guide servings, or in some cases other serving sizes typically available and consumed in the marketplace. Some items are not necessarily "healthy" food items, but have been included as realistic to foods chosen by many individuals, in order to facilitate realistic food intake research or to help consumers better understand the nutritional impact of their eating choices.

The website is operated by Dietitians of Canada (DC). Use of the website is subject to its Terms of Use. Use of its photographic and other media is subject to its Content License Agreement.



1. How many items are in the photo database?

Over 500 distinct items have been photographed, each item from a consistent combination of angles, degrees of elevation and distance relative to the subject, and focal length or zoom level. Some of the images have also been rendered with a "transparent" background (versus white), yielding a total number of images in excess of 2,700. Dietitians of Canada is looking to expand the database in the future with additional food items, and other useful applications utilizing the photos may be developed.

2. How were the items selected?

Some dietitians involved in food and nutrition research at the University of Waterloo selected many of the items based on their value to food intake research and items typically consumed. Attention was given to selecting items suitable for a diversity of ethnic, socioeconomic and Canadian regional backgrounds. As many items as possible were chosen based on their presence in the Canadian Nutrient File, or nutrient data availability from other known reliable sources.

3. How do I locate or search for an item in the photo database?

Categories of items listed along the left side of the website may be browsed (via thumbnail images), or you may enter a search term in the Search box. Using two or more search terms will yield results with either search term (an "OR" search, not "AND").

4. What nutrients are shown in association with a photo? ?

At least the mandatory nutrients for nutrition labelling will be displayed. Whenever possible, other nutrients include Mono, Poly, Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats, Potassium, Starch, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Phosphorus and Magnesium.

5. What serving sizes are depicted?

Many items depict a Canada's Food Guide serving. Some items (especially those that do not "neatly" fit into a Canada's Food Guide category) depict a commonly consumed serving that approximates a Reference Amount serving from a nutrition labelling standpoint. Nutrient data provided in association with the photo always shows an associated weight and household serving size description of the item in the photo. The photo taken "straight on" with a slight 5 degree elevation and not highly zoomed in (sometimes described as the "front row seat" view) most closely approximates a life size view of the serving depending on screen size and resolution or physical size of the photo purchased and downloaded.

6. Do Dietitians of Canada (DC) members receive a discount when purchasing photos?

A charge will be seen in the online shopping cart, but validated logged in Dietitians of Canada (DC) members will receive a discount at checkout time equal to the full charge shown.

7. For what types of purposes can I use the photographs?

It is envisioned that dietitians will use the photographs for promoting healthy living through various avenues. While the use of the photographs is varied (please see the terms of the Content License Agreement) we envision the pictures being used in posters, brochures, presentations, educational material, graphic design, etc. The different sizes of photographs provided (small, medium, larger, and super) provide for a variety of uses.

8. How can I use the photographs once I have downloaded them?

Each photograph you purchase and download to your computer is in a jpg file format (transparent images are in .png file format). Once downloaded, it is your responsibility to use it in an appropriate manner. For some uses, such as PowerPoint, you can simply copy the file into your presentation. Other uses, such as a brochure or poster may require the help of a professional designer. Foodphoto simply provides the image – it is up to you how you utilize it. Associated nutritional information is not downloaded with each photograph.

9. How will this new foodphoto application promote the role of Dietitians in Canada?

This application is one of many ways in which Dietitians of Canada is providing a nutritional service to both dietitians and the Canadian public. It is our hope that dietitians across Canada will utilize the photographs in various forms to promote healthier eating. The Canadian public, who can also access the application, can learn from the nutritional information associated with each photograph. In the upper right corner, links to Find a Dietitian, eaTracker and EatWise apps are available under "Connect", as well as links to EatRight Ontario and DC's presence on popular social media sites.