Health & Wellness Strategy
A number of recent statistics are alarming. But they are surmountable with the right strategy.
We have heard for a while the growing obesity problems in Canada.
“Canada, like many nations, is in the midst of an epidemic of overweight and obesity. Currently, 59% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese1. Cities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia were significantly higher in overweight/obesity population than the national average for adults2.” (Childhood Obesity Foundation)
[1Tjepkema M. Measured Obesity: Adult obesity in Canada: Measured height and weight. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-620-MVE2005001; 2Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009, 2010.]
There has also been a dramatic increase in unhealthy weights in children. In 1978, only 15% of children were overweight or obese. By 2007, Statistics Canada found that 29% of adolescents had unhealthy weights2. Most adolescents do not outgrow this problem and in fact, many continue to gain excess weight3. If current trends continue, by 2040, up to 70% of adults aged 40 years will be either overweight or obese4. (Childhood Obesity Foundation)
[3Singh AS, Mulder C, Twisk JWR. (2008) Tracking of childhood overweight into adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Obesity Reviews 9. 474 – 488; 4Le Petit C, Berthelot JM. Obesity: A Growing Issue. Statistics Canada catalogue no 82-618-MWE2005003]
What we know is that prevention is less costly than dealing with the associated health, lost productivity and lack of overall wellness this problem creates.
As someone that has been active all of my life, I know that action speaks louder than talk. I would propose, if elected Mayor, to initiate a number of action campaigns to get people and children active once again. I would be working through the schools to encourage children to bicycle to school, to be active in their community and to participate in organized and unorganized sport.
As adults, I would encourage and promote the use of active transportation options like walking, cycling and taking the public transit system when going to work or shopping. I would encourage greater participation in recreational walking in Wascana park and every neighbourhood.
As a personal challenge, I would be making a pledge to ride my bicycle all year long as well as at least one 100 kilometre ride every summer. Come along with me and take the challenge. EVERYONE WINS.