Towards a Healthier Canada - 2013 Progress Report on Advancing the Federal / Provincial / Territorial Framework on Healthy Weights

Overview

Canada's Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health and Healthy Living* are pleased to present Towards a Healthier Canada – 2013 Progress Report on Advancing the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Framework on Healthy Weights (Progress Report) to Canadians. The Progress Report tells the ongoing story of the collective actions governments and other sectors are taking to advance Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights (Framework).

*Québec supports the general objectives of this framework, but does not support a Canada-wide strategy in a field that falls under its jurisdiction. Québec remains solely responsible for the development, implementation and communication of programs to promote healthy lifestyles within its borders. However, the Province intends to continue sharing information and best practices with other Canadian governments.

Video - Promoting Healthy Weights (2012)

This video provides an overview of the issue and profiles a number of the important efforts being made by governments and various sectors that affect childhood obesity and healthy weights (e.g., promotion of physical activity and healthy eating).

Promoting Healthy Weights Video (2012) - HTML5 Transcript/Captions

(On a black backdrop, the earth is shown, slowly rotating. The Canadian flag moves quickly from the left hand side of the screen to the centre, almost completely covering the globe.)

Music plays in the background.

(The Canadian flag in the centre of the screen is quickly covered by a picture of Canada’s provincial and territorial flags.)

Canada’s Ministers of Health and Healthy Living are taking on the public health challenge of the 21st century.

(The picture of the flags dissolves into a video clip of a young family preparing a healthy meal together in their kitchen.)

Music plays in the background.

(The title of video appears on the screen. The text reads, Healthy Living Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights.)

Overweight and obesity.

(The shot changes to one of a school cafeteria. Text appears on the screen. It reads, Canada is in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic.)

They are on the rise in all parts of the country.

(A shot of a young boy playing video games appears.)

Canada’s children are overweight.

(A close-up shot of a table top with pizza, soda and potato chips.)

Thirty years ago this was an uncommon problem. But now more than 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese.

(A map of Canada shows the rising trend of childhood obesity from 1985 through until 2010.)

Never before in our nation’s history have childhood overweight and obesity rates been so high.

(The background behind the map slowly changes from static white to a video of teenagers, of all shapes and sizes, walking in a school hallway. The shot changes to multiple scenes of people walking on busy sidewalks.)

As a result, children are being diagnosed with illnesses that previously were seen only in adults, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. And these are serious lifelong threats to health.

(The globe is shown rotating in the background and a picture of the Canadian flag is shown in the foreground.)

Canada is not alone. Childhood obesity is a global epidemic.

(Two quick news clips with news anchors are shown over the backdrop of a rotating globe.)

The United Nations has highlighted the global challenge and its implications for health, productivity and the sustainability of health systems.

(As the narrator speaks about the global challenge of combating obesity rates; a scene including the flags of countries belonging to the UN wave in the wind.)

Governments are implementing strategies, working in collaboration with many sectors

(A collection of pictures of people working together in various business settings is flashed on the screen.)

The United States, Mexico, Australia and England are among the many countries that have put a priority on healthy living.

(Government buildings in the United States, Mexico, Australia and England appear on the screen as each respective location is mentioned.)

We all know that healthy eating and active living are keys to success.

(A shot of a family preparing a meal is shown and quickly moves to a shot of a young woman participating in the Northern Games.)

And we also know it isn’t that simple - our society doesn’t make it easy to make healthier choices.

(People are shown walking quickly through a food court at a mall.)

Obesity is a complex issue. Its causes are the subject of a great deal of research – scientists call it the web of causation.

(A pictograph is shown on the screen pointing to potential causes for the rise in obesity rates amongst children.)

This really means that we need to think differently about how we live in order to change the things that are making healthier choices so difficult, and move towards making the healthier choice, the easier choice.

(Images of the city skylines of Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia are shown on the screen and are quickly covered by images of a traffic jam, a girl on her computer and a healthy couple preparing a meal.)

That’s why our pan-Canadian approach calls for action by many sectors – private and public, education, recreation, municipal planning and transport, to name just a few.

(A static image of a boy doing a handstand appears in the background, while a circular graphic outlining the Pan-Canadian approach to combating obesity entitled Healthier People in Healthier Places is shown in the foreground. )

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Declaration on Prevention and Promotion, along with the Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights, lay out what needs to be done. This pan-Canadian approach is based on collaboration and partnership because health promotion is everyone’s business.

(The cover pages for the Declaration on Prevention and Promotion and the Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights are shown on the screen.)

And Ministers of Health and Healthy Living are taking on the role of champions. They are calling on other sectors to join them in creating a healthier Canada.

(An image with all of the flags of the provinces and territories is shown and dissolves into a clip of a young woman playing wheelchair basketball and then onto a clip of a young man placing a bowl of salad down on the kitchen table.)

Governments are working together in partnership with others to help build environments that are more supportive of healthy eating and physical activity.

(Multiple scenic images of a Northern Canadian community are shown.)

There are many initiatives that are bringing the Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights to life.

(A child jumping in the air is shown in the background, while a map of Canada is shown to his left. Three priorities are outlined on the screen.)

There are many initiatives that are bringing the Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights to life. We are learning from each other and this will help us deliver the most effective programs to Canadians.

(Various healthy eating initiatives from across Canada pan across the screen.)

We saw earlier this year, at the Summit on Healthy Weights, that sectors are ready to partner. A great example of this is the collaboration between Ministers of Health and Healthy Living and Ministers of Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation who endorsed the Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights, indicating the commitment to work together on common objectives.

(A picture from last year’s Summit on Healthy Weights, shows various ministers out of their seats, waving their hands in the air.)

Next fall, Health and Healthy Living Ministers will report to Canadians on progress and will continue to do so every two years.

(A mock-up cover for the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to promote healthy weights is shown on the screen. The words, coming soon, are painted over top. A video of young people participating in various outdoor activities slowly covers the centre portion of the screen.)

We can be optimistic that we are creating the momentum to tackle this public health challenge. We must also be realistic. Achieving healthy weights requires a long-term effort, sustained leadership and innovation, and monitoring progress.

(The video continues as it expands to take up 100 percent of the backdrop.)

The leadership and commitment of Canada’s Ministers of Health and Healthy Living will remain the force for mobilizing change within all sectors of society.

Promoting good health is everyone’s business.

(Multiple clips of children participating in physical activities are shown before the video concludes with the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network logo.)

Timeline - building momentum

With the endorsement of the Framework in 2010, Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments are working together, and with other sectors, to promote health, reduce disparities and to help create the conditions that will help children, youth and their families live healthier lifestyles.  Key milestones of these efforts to date are profiled in the timeline below.

Endorsement of Declaration on Prevention and Promotion (Declaration):

Canada’s Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health and/or Health Promotion/Healthy Living* endorsed the Declaration, presenting a shared vision for working together, and with others, to make the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury a priority for action.

Creating a Healthier Canada: Making Prevention a Priority

Endorsement of Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights (Framework):

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health and/or Health Promotion/Healthy Living* endorsed the Framework as the first tangible action arising from the Declaration, making childhood obesity (and healthy weights) a priority.

Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights

Endorsement of Actions Taken and Future Directions 2011: Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights (Report):

The Report lays out recommendations and key areas of action that governments can take to support healthy weights and reduce childhood obesity.

Actions Taken and Future Directions 2011

Endorsement of Declaration and Framework by F/P/T Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation:

In 2011, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation* also endorsed the Declaration and Framework.

2012 Summit on Healthy Weights:

The purpose of the Summit was to advance efforts in building partnerships across sectors. A total of 86 multi-sectoral stakeholders participated in the one-day event, including governments, not-for-profit organizations, Aboriginal organizations, as well as industry and media representatives. The day provided an opportunity to put new ideas forward, discuss progress of initiatives underway, and connect sectors working toward common objectives.

Message from Canada's Ministers of Health and Healthy Living

We all have a role to play in moving towards a healthier Canada. That is why Canada’s Ministers of Health and Healthy Living are working together, and with other sectors including our sport, physical activity and recreation colleagues, to create the conditions that will promote health and prevent illness, so that children, youth and their families and communities can enjoy good health for years to come.

View More

The Declaration on Prevention and Promotion and Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights (Framework) represent key milestones in our collective journey to support Canadian children and their families in achieving healthier lifestyles.

We are pleased to present this report to Canadians. Important efforts are underway to help make social and physical environments where children live, learn and play more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating. And, it will be important to track trends over time so that we can all gauge the progress of collective actions taken to advance the Framework’s three Strategies:

  1. Making childhood overweight and obesity a collective priority for action
  2. Coordinating efforts on three key policy priorities:
    1. Supportive environments
    2. Early action
    3. Nutritious foods
  3. Measuring and reporting on collective progress

Progress continues to be made by many jurisdictions and sectors to improve health and reduce health disparities for all population groups. We are working together to build on these and other successful initiatives and to work in new ways to identify and deliver innovative and effective programs to help children and their families make healthier choices. Multi-sectoral partnerships are a key focus of this work.

We have agreed to champion this issue and to encourage shared leadership with other sectors of Canadian society. We encourage all Canadians to join in at home, at school, at work and in your community, and continue to build a country where children and youth can have the healthiest possible lives. Promoting and supporting healthy living is everyone’s business.

Thank you.

For further information:
www.towardsahealthiercanada.ca

Download/print the PDF version

Initiatives - taking action across the country

Important efforts to promote healthy weights are underway across the country, reaching children where they live, learn and play.

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This section profiles examples of activities that Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments in Health/Healthy Living and Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (SPAR) have undertaken to promote healthy weights at home, at school and in the community.  Provincial and Territorial Champion initiatives are also profiled, representing areas for which government jurisdictions have volunteered to take on the role of identifying key considerations for implementation of successful initiatives; sharing information on implementation; and facilitating expansion with other interested jurisdictions.

Further information on these and other initiatives is available on jurisdictional websites.

Alta. B.C. Man. N.B. N.L. N.W.T. N.S. Nun. Ont. P.E.I. Que. Sask. Y.T.

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Government of Canada Initiatives

Mind, Exercise, Nutrition….Do IT! 

The Mind, Exercise, Nutrition … Do It! (MEND) initiative is a community-based healthy weights program modeled on best practices in the United Kingdom (UK). The first in Canada to adapt and pilot MEND, Alberta Health Services (AHS) initiated it in 2010 with three age groups: MEND 2 – 4, MEND 5 – 7 and MEND 7 – 13. In the program, children and families learn how to develop behaviours that support healthy lifestyles. All three programs are free and offered to overweight and obese children and their families. 

Alberta Health, AHS and MEND UK are key partners in the adaption, implementation, evaluation and research of MEND in Alberta. Activities include:

  • AHS adapting and piloting MEND in several Aboriginal communities
  • delivering MEND programs across all five AHS zones by community service delivery agencies such as recreation centres, Parent Link centres, Be Fit for Life, family resource services and not-for-profit organizations.

For MEND results to date and more information, visit: Mind, Exercise, Nutrition….Do IT!

School Nutrition GuidelinesFootnote *

Chaired by Alberta, with representation from BC, AB, SK, MB, NWT, YK, PEI, NL and Health Canada, an F/P/T Group on Nutrition (FPT GN) working group began to develop a set of nutrient criteria that could be used by jurisdictions as they develop and revise their specific nutrition guidelines. The criteria are also intended to facilitate the food industry to develop or reformulate food and beverage products that are approved for procurement in all jurisdictions across Canada. 

Alberta lead engagement dialogues on Improving Consistency of School Food Guidelines For Schools Across Canada in October 2011 and November 2012. In attendance were companies developing food and beverage products, national organizations, companies providing the foods and beverages offered in schools, organizations developing nutrient criteria for school food guidelines, researchers involved in assessing school nutrition policies and guidelines and designates from the Ministry of Education represented by the Joint Consortium on School Health.

Feedback provided from stakeholders has been considered by the FPT GN Working Group and the final set of nutrient criteria is expected to be made available to FPT GN members in July 2013.

Return to footnote * referrer Food Guidelines in Child Daycare Settings: The current focus remains on the completion of the best-fit nutrient criteria. Once this criteria is set it will be used as the basis to develop childcare food and beverage nutrition criteria.

Healthy U Alberta 

Healthy U Alberta is Alberta's main healthy eating, active living communication tool with Albertans and has a three-year information and education initiative (2012-2014) to inspire parents, their children and adults who influence children to eat healthier and be more active and to include healthy eating and active living in their daily behaviours in their daily lives.

A Healthy U website and crew provides healthy living messaging and materials to Albertans in schools, shopping centres and grocery stores. Educational and related information will also appear in television and grocery cart ads and in an interactive mobile application.

For more information, visit Healthy U Alberta

Healthy School Community Wellness Fund 

The Healthy School Community Wellness Fund encourages action to build healthy supportive school community environments. In operation since 2007, to date it has supported 150 projects involving over 750 school community partnerships. A recent evaluation indicates it is helping to reduce obesity.

The following are results from the REAL Kids Alberta measurements in 2012:

  • In schools that receive Wellness Fund support, rates of overweight were 17.6 percent in 2008, slightly higher than the 17.1 percent provincial average. In 2012, the rate of overweight children decreased to 13.8 percent, well below the provincial rate of 18.3 percent.
  • In Alberta, healthier eating and increased physical activity was observed from 2008 to 2012. In 2008 approximately 25 percent of children reported becoming more physically active and eating healthier compared to almost 50 percent of students in 2012 reporting the same intentions.

For more information, visit Healthy School Community Wellness Fund

Active Alberta Policy

The vision of Active Alberta is "Albertans enjoy a high quality of life, improved health and wellness, strong communities, economic benefits and personal fulfillment, through recreation, active living and sport." This is being achieved through the Active Alberta Policy in coordination with stakeholders, non-profit organizations, other levels of government, the private sector and individuals. Active Alberta takes a coordinated approach to program design, service delivery and funding to measure the activity levels, health and quality of life of Albertans. Active Alberta strategies go beyond awareness; all partners work collaboratively to achieve the six Policy outcomes:

  • Active Albertans
  • Active Outdoors
  • Active Pursuit of Excellence
  • Active Coordinated Systems
  • Active Engagement
  • Active Communities

For more information, visit Active Alberta Policy

Physical Literacy Development

Through the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) movement, physical literacy development has become a priority for provincial and territorial education ministries, national and provincial sport organizations and recreation programs across Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Research are developing similar guidelines for ages 0 – 5. Policy development regarding physical literacy development and physical activity within group child care settings may play a pivotal role in enhancing physical literacy growth in this age category now and into the future. The Advisory Committee led and advanced policy development both through professional association guidelines and accreditation processes.

The Alberta Child Care Association has endorsed the policy package. The goal was to develop, test and implement a physical literacy observation tool for Early Childhood Professionals (ECPs) working in licensed and approved child care settings and to enable parents to assess a child's fundamental movement skill development according to Active Start Stage (infants, toddlers and preschoolers) milestones.

Healthy Families BC – Healthy Eating and Healthy Communities

Healthy Families BC was launched in 2011 by the Province of British Columbia to support British Columbians in making healthier choices. The Healthy Eating and Healthy Communities pillars of the plan include a settings-based focus.

The Healthy Eating pillar includes a variety of policies and programs to support health promoting environments in schools, communities, restaurants, health care settings and other publicly funded institutions. 

One key activity within the Healthy Eating pillar is to address gaps in the continuum of supports required for the prevention of weight-related chronic diseases. To support this activity, BC launched the Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative in April 2013 to ensure overweight children and families have access to medical, nutritional and psychological supports, as well as healthy eating and physical activity sessions. The initiative includes:

  1. Expanding the ShapedownBC program to all 5 regional health authorities
  2. Launching Mind, Exercise, Nutrition … Do It! (MEND) in BC communities; and
  3. Delivering telephone and online support for families through the Physical Activity Line and Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC.

The Healthy Communities pillar includes three initiatives that focus on creating supportive environments in workplaces, schools and communities. Both the Healthy Schools BC and the Healthy Communities initiatives focus on strengthened partnerships across sectors to increase regional health authority support of local actions to create healthier environments in schools and communities.

Action Schools! BC supports the implementation of Healthy Schools BC through assisting schools in creating and implementing individualized action plans for physical activity and healthy eating.

For more information, visit Healthy Families BC – Healthy Eating and Healthy Communities

World Health Organization Growth Charts

In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new international growth charts depicting the optimal growth of children from birth to age 5 years and charts for monitoring the growth of older children and adolescents. British Columbia Ministry of Health (MoH) developed provincial training materials to support the implementation of the new WHO growth monitoring tools and integrated WHO Growth Charts into the Pan-Canadian electronic health record Panorama Family Health module. MoH monitors implementation of the WHO growth standards during public health contact.

Next steps include continuing to work with Child Health BC to develop tools and resources to enhance health care provider understanding of appropriate assessment and referral protocols for children and youth who are leaving their normal weight trajectory as identified through routine growth monitoring and use of the WHO Growth Charts.For more information, visit World Health Organization Growth Charts

The British Columbia Sport Strategy

British Columbia's Sport Strategy is increasing participation in sport and investing in programs such as the Sport Participation program, KidSport BC, After School Sport Initiative and Aboriginal sport programs. This is helping to reduce barriers to participation and to address the risk factors associated with childhood obesity/healthy weights such as socio-economic and regional disparities.

The BC Sport Strategy focuses its investments and activities on promoting the Canadian Sport for Life model, particularly for teaching children and youth basic movements skills that give them the confidence and ability to enjoy and participate in sport and physical activity.

This project is being led by British Columbia and includes working with the Federal Sport Participation Initiative.

The Government of British Columbia After School Sport Initiative 

The Government of British Columbia After School Sport Initiative focuses on children facing barriers to sport (e.g. financial, transportation, geographical, cultural, language) and delivers programs in select schools between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. where children are typically sedentary or at risk of participating in unhealthy behaviour. Activities include teaching basic fundamental movement skills (e.g. running, jumping, throwing) and popular physical activities (e.g. basketball, surfing, hip hop dancing) – all tailored to the needs and resources of the various communities and the children's interests.

This initiative brings together the British Columbia Ministries responsible for sport, health, education, children and family, public safety and Aboriginal, as well as local government, sport and recreation organizations, schools, social service groups, business and other partners.

BC Healthy Built Environment Alliance

The Ministry of Health co-chairs a BC Healthy Built Environment Alliance (HBEA) with the Planning Institute of BC. HBEA is a provincial hub for information sharing and action across sectors to improve health through community design, land use planning and local government policies. It also works with the health sector to support prevention of chronic diseases, injuries and promotion of healthy weights in BC communities. The HBEA facilitates collaboration and innovation across multiple professions, as well as the development of learning resources that engage health professionals, planners, engineers, architects and diverse municipal and regional government staff and policy initiatives and projects in BC communities. This includes promotion of outdoor physical activity for children, active transportation, healthy food networks and compact, complete community designs.

This is a multi-sectoral partnership with shared leadership between British Columbia and other sectors, including local government, NGOs, private organizations and academia.  For more information, visit BC Healthy Built Environment Alliance

ParticipACTION

The BC Ministry of Health has established a strategic three-year partnership with ParticipACTION to increase public awareness of the benefits of physical activity and to mobilize greater community action. The partnership builds on ParticipACTION's federal funding and focuses on key areas including:

  • a social change marketing campaign
  • increased action in communities
  • program to increase physical activity levels among children and youth
  • increased access to evidence-based physical activity information and support (e.g. BC Physical Activity Line and Physical Activity/Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines)
  • expanding a network of organizations working together to support physical activity
  • facilitating the BC implementation of Active Canada 20/20
  • enhancing measurement of physical activity behaviours and attitudes and evaluation of physical activity interventions.

For more information, visit Bring Back Play

Northern Healthy Food Initiative

The primary focus of Manitoba's Northern Healthy Food Initiative is food self-sufficiency.  Objectives are to:

  • support and promote local food self-sufficiency activities in Northern Manitoba (garden initiatives, greenhouse projects, community food programs and food business development)
  • assist Northern Manitobans to make healthier food choices and to make these foods more available
  • stimulate economic development and diversification that will improve the quality of the Northern Manitoba food system
  • demonstrate new approaches to improving food accessibility in Northern Manitoba

Six provincial government departments work with five regional partners, including a municipal association, a school board, a First Nations health authority, an economic development roundtable and a civil society organization, to deliver the program in over 80 communities. Integral to the success of the initiative are partnerships and linkages made with non government organizations.

Examples of 2013 initiatives include:

  • Food Matters Manitoba – York Landing Greenhouse
  • O Pipon Na Piwin Cree Nation Community Country Food Program
  • Wapanohk Community School - Community Supported Agriculture Initiative
  • Northern Association of Community Councils
  • Frontier School Division – Grow Success

For more information, visit: Northern Healthy Food Initiative

Healthy Schools in motion

Manitoba's Healthy Schools in motion is the physical activity component of the Healthy Schools Initiative.  Every year a resource is offered to registered schools. This year's resource is the Physical Literacy Toolkit, which has two parts:

  1. Recess Toolkit (Kindergarten - grade 6) – assists schools in making recess a safe and active play time where physical literacy can develop. It includes best practices for games/equipment, indoor/outdoor recess and considerations for administrators, parents, teachers and physical education teachers.
  2. Movement Vocabulary Toolkit (grades 3 -12) – designed to increase movement skills and overall proficiency using repetition-based learning in a fun setting. It is aligned with the objectives of the curriculum and is consistent with long term principles of participant development.

For more information, visit Healthy Schools in motion

Making the Move to Healthy Choices Tool Kit

The Making the Move to Healthy Choices Tool Kit was developed to encourage recreation facilities to move toward healthier food choices in their local facilities. 

For more information, visit Making the Move to Healthy Choices Tool Kit

Farm to School

The Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser project was developed to help address the potential loss of revenue from vending machine sales and fundraising activities. This was an anticipated challenge that schools identified after the Government of Manitoba introduced School Nutrition Guidelines to improve the school food environment.

This project was made possible by the successful public-private-professional collaboration and partnership of the Manitoba government, Manitoba Association of Home Economists (MAHE) and Peak of the Market, and intends to:

  • increase the amount and variety of vegetables consumed by children, families and communities
  • raise awareness, increase knowledge and promote sustainable food attitudes and practices, which improve the health of students, their families, school personnel and community partners
  • allow educators to meet both financial and nutrition education goals for schools while promoting local vegetables

For more information, visit Farm to School Manitoba

Vegetable and Fruit Snack Program

The Vegetable and Fruit Snack Program (VF) began in fall of 2009 with 13 rural, northern and urban schools in Manitoba. In 2012 it switched focus to after-school programs of which there were 45, although many of the original participating schools continued their programs. This program targets schools and after-school programs in isolated and remote areas of the province or those located in lower socio-economic neighbourhoods. Goals of this program include:

  • increasing nutritional awareness
  • promoting healthy attitudes and practices of students, families, school personnel and community partners
  • building capacity of schools, individuals and communities to reduce barriers to health.

The Government of Manitoba and the Public Health Agency of Canada provide funding to the non-profit organization Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba to deliver the program. The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba has taken a community development approach to this pilot program, allowing participating schools to procure, prepare and distribute vegetables and fruits to students using a method that works for them.  

For more information, visit: Vegetable and Fruit Snack Program

Bilateral Agreement Physical Activity Initiatives

Through bilateral agreements between the Government of Manitoba and the Public Health Agency of Canada, joint funding is provided to support the following physical activity and healthy eating initiatives:

After the School Bell Rings Project – After The School Bell Rings: A Manitoba After School Recreation Project promotes and supports increased access and opportunities for 6 to 12-year-olds to engage in physical activity and healthy living practices after school. 

After The School Bell Rings will:

  • identify and develop resources to assist after school program providers to increase physical activity, healthy eating and active transportation within their programs
  • provide opportunities for after school program providers to communicate with each other, share ideas, resolve issues and find ways to work together to provide effective after school programs.

This project is a multi-sectoral partnership with leadership shared by Recreation Connections Manitoba and the Green Action Centre. Funding is also provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Other sectors involved include Children and Youth Opportunities (Recreation and Regional Services Branch); Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs (Healthy Living and Population Branch); Immigration and Multiculturalism.  For more information, visit After School Manitoba

Rec and Read Mentor Program

The University of Manitoba, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management coordinates the Rec and Read Mentor Program, training university students to mentor high school students who mentor elementary school students to be more physically active and live healthy. Aboriginal youth are a key focus.  Children and youth from diverse populations, including newcomers, are also invited to participate. 

Vegetable and Fruit Snack Program

Baby Friendly Initiative

The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) Provincial/Territorial Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Implementation Committee (BCC P/T BFI) represents all P/Ts and is a champion for BFI in Canada. It plays a key role in setting priorities and activities to move BFI forward in jurisdictions across the country, and includes the following activities:

  • Data collection: The goal is to collect relevant, accurate and consistent breastfeeding data for use in comparing practices between regions and provinces/territories. Updated breastfeeding definitions and a guide for data collection were revised in 2012. The BCC PT Committee is also involved in ongoing discussions about data collection processes at the provincial local levels.
  • BFI assessments: Identifying opportunities to increase capacity of assessors across the country to support facilities and organizations in being BFI designated.
  • Participation on national committees and development of key messages and practices:
    • Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants Recommendations: 6-24 months
    • Family Centered Maternity and Newborn Care National Guidelines

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by provincial/territorial jurisdictions. All provinces and territories are members of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada Provincial/ Territorial Baby-Friendly Initiative Implementation. 

For more information, visit Breastfeeding Canada

New Brunswick Wellness Strategy

The New Brunswick Wellness Strategy takes a comprehensive approach to building capacity for community development. This is achieved through grant programs and by supporting the work of community Wellness Networks. The goal of these initiatives is to mobilize and engage champions to create healthy supportive physical and social environments in schools, communities and workplaces where people live, learn, work and play. Currently, 21 Wellness Networks involving over 73 cities, towns and villages in the province are mobilizing and inspiring stakeholders and citizens to improve wellness in their communities. Grant programs support comprehensive school health initiatives, active communities, community food action, community food mentor programs and healthy foods in recreation facilities. 

For more information, visit New Brunswick Wellness Strategy

Join the Wellness Movement

Join the Wellness Movement is an ongoing social marketing initiative of the New Brunswick Wellness Strategy. It encourages community groups, schools and workplaces to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle and register it at wellnessnb.ca. On this website, a video highlights New Brunswick wellness stories to inspire more groups to "get the ball rolling" in their communities and Join the Wellness Movement. A huge green ball symbolizing the growing movement in the province shows groups, schools and workplaces taking action to enhance wellness in their community. The stories are told in the voice of the group champion. The 2012-13 campaign broke last year's record with over 1,700 group commitments and more than 250,000 participants, an increase of nearly 60,000 over the previous year. 

For more information, visit Wellness New Brunswick

Healthy Toddler Assessment

The New Brunswick Healthy Toddler Assessment was implemented in March 2013. It promotes healthy lifestyle practices and behaviours, gathers population health data, provides screening and assessment services and refers families to appropriate services. 

Delivered by public health nurses, the assessment includes health risk questionnaires related to teeth, vision, hearing and safety. Children are weighed and measured, screened using the Ages and Stages-3 tool and their immunization status verified. Parents are asked about any child health concerns, their own mental health and their literacy skills.

The growth and nutrition component includes questions related to the parent's breastfeeding history, the NutriSTEP Toddler screen and measurements and percentile charting of the child's length, weight and head circumference. Children are referred to physicians for growth concerns or dietitians for nutrition concerns, if necessary.

Public Health Nutrition Framework for Action 2012-2016

The Public Health Nutrition Framework for Action 2012-2016 was released in New Brunswick in June 2012. It aims to build capacity within the public health system to promote good nutrition for the entire population.

The framework supports and builds on existing local, provincial and federal nutrition / healthy living initiatives, wherever possible. Strategic directions and priority areas were developed based on stakeholder consultations, current evidence and promising practices and reflect a population health approach. Success will rely on building strong relationships across many sectors at all levels within the public health system, broader health system, other government departments and non-government organizations.

The framework outlines five priorities:

  • food security
  • healthy environments
  • prenatal and early childhood
  • breastfeeding
  • school-aged children and youth.

For more information, visit Public Health Nutrition Framework for Action 2012-2016

ParticipACTION Partnership

New Brunswick is currently in the second year of a three-year partnership with ParticipACTION.  The purpose of the partnership is to leverage ParticipACTION's brand recognition and active living tools in the current Bring Back Play campaign, aimed at the mothers of children ages 5-11 years. Bring Back Play supplements New Brunswick'sWellness Movement social media initiatives and other efforts focused on youth wellness and the home setting. Other areas of active living promotion for this year's partnership include Sneak it in Week,  Longest Day of Play with an NB focus on Youth Ambassador led activities in NB Parks,  Sports Day In Canada (fall) and bringing back play for seniors. The partnership leverages New Brunswick's capacity to engage and mobilize people at local, regional and provincial levels.

Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador: A Recreation and Sport Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador 

Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador: A Recreation and Sport Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador envisions a vibrant and active population participating in physical activity, recreation and sport at all levels for quality of life, improved health, enhanced social interaction, personal fulfillment and excellence, all within a system that is safe, equitable, ethical and accountable.

Since the launch of the strategy in 2007, over $172 million has been committed to recreational and sport infrastructure, programming and athlete development throughout the province, including programs such as Eat Great and Participate, Regional Games Program, Participation Nation and Community Recreation Development Grants.

This project includes working with provincial NGOs. For more information, visit Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador: A Recreation and Sport Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador

After School Physical Activity Initiative

The After School Physical Activity Initiative is a three year pilot project (2012-15) designed to encourage schools and communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to partner in addressing barriers to participation in physical activity during the after school time period, for children and youth in grades 4 to 9. It is a joint initiative of the Departments of Tourism, Culture and Recreation and Health and Community Services.  Pilot sites must be inclusive of all students and offer a girls-only activity.

Baby Friendly Initiative – Breast Feeding Videos

The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services collaborated with the Provincial Perinatal Program to support the Baby-Friendly Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador's release of three short education videos of approximately five minutes in length about breastfeeding for use in public health programming as well as on the Baby Friendly Initiative website. The videos are for parents and professionals. This action will support baby-friendly initiatives in Newfoundland.

Food Skills Workshops

In 2012, the Regional Health Authorities collaborated with the Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador to develop and pilot a Food Skills workshop for community groups and individuals to build knowledge about and skills for healthy, traditional food in their communities. The initial food skills workshop had 16 participants from across the province and eight workshops were held with seniors groups (150-plus participants). The workshop topics included: container gardening, composting, seed saving, edible wild plants, preparing local vegetables, using culinary herbs, canning/bottling and root cellars.

For more information, visit Food Skills Workshop

Eat Great and Participate

Newfoundland supports Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador in a healthy living bilateral agreement (2009-2014). The Eat Great and Participate program aims to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating, food and beverages for children and youth in recreation, sport and community facilities. It also aims to benefit children and youth in the after-school time period, as well as the broader community.

Actions include:

  • supporting after-school physical activity programs (25) through healthy eating education and training
  • developing and piloting a healthy eating tool kit for recreation, sport and community food service providers and engaging youth and youth leaders in focus groups to strengthen partnerships and build capacity.

Resources for the program are available at: Eat Great and Participate

Northwest Territories Active After-School Program

The Northwest Territories Active After-School Program provides funding to schools and community-based organizations to engage inactive or underactive school-aged children and youth during the after-school time period. The program builds on existing activities or supports creating new ones. It encourages children and youth who are already highly active to participate in after school activities as youth leaders and peer-to-peer role models. 

For more information, visit: Northwest Territories Active After-School Program

Healthy Choices for Healthy Communities "Choose"

The Northwest Territories launched the Healthy Choices for Healthy Communities in 2011 to encourage all NWT residents to make healthier choices.  The choosenwt.ca website is an on-line resource that describes current programs, links to wellness information and program funding, as well as other related supports.  

Choose is the public face of the Healthy Choices Framework, a GNWT-wide approach to encouraging and supporting NWT residents to make healthy and safe choices.  Currently, the departments of Health and Social Services, Municipal and Community Affairs, Education, Culture and Employment, Justice and Transportation are part of the Healthy Choices Framework territorial committee.  The Choose bear paw marks important choices that can be supported and encouraged around:

  • Healthy Children and Families
  • Mental Wellness
  • Injury Prevention
  • Healthy Sexuality
  • Living Tobacco Free
  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity

For more information, visit: Healthy Choices for Healthy Communities "Choose"

Healthy Beverages:  Drop the Pop/SipSmartNWT

It is well-recognized that sugary sweetened beverages are a major contributor to childhood obesity and that a reduction in the high intake of such beverages will reduce childhood obesity as well as improve dental health and overall healthy growth and development.   Drop the Pop is a school-based initiative designed to reduce sugary-sweetened beverages through small incentives and resources.  There are high participation rates by schools in this initiative; in 2013/2014, early childhood centres will also be invited to participate.  A recent process evaluation indicates that the initiative is well-received.  Data on sugary sweetened beverage consumption will not be available until the CCHS Nutrition Module is for the NWT is analyzed.

SipSmartNWT and ScreenSmartNWT are resources that support the reduction of sugary sweetened beverages and increasing physical activity, through school lesson plans for teachers for grades 4-7. For more information, visit: Healthy Beverages:  Drop the Pop/SipSmartNWT

Food and Beverage Recreation Audits (CLASP) 

The Department of Health and Social Services (sponsoring agency), in collaboration with the NWT Recreation and Parks Association and Municipal and Community Affairs is working towards increased healthy foods and drinks served or sold in recreational facilities and events.   The aim of this two year project (2012-2014) is to enlist as many interested recreation centres as possible to conduct their own facility audits and assess what improvements could be made, with support from the Project Nutritionist.  One training session on the use of the Food and Beverage Recreation Audit Toolkit and an additional training session are planned.  Key stakeholders include facility managers, local sports and recreation leaders, and municipal and First Nations governments.

This work is supported by the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada with additional funding from the Coalition to Link Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP).   Jurisdictional partners include the Yukon, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Early Childhood:  Healthy Family Cooking Program promoting fruits and vegetables/Early Childhood Facility Food and Nutrition Standards and Guidelines update; Healthy Beginnings Toolkit/WHO Growth Charts/Breastfeeding Promotions/MEND 

Right from the Start, A Framework for Early Childhood Development in the NWT, May 2013, outlines actions that support ideal growth and development in the early years.  Several programs and projects are underway that support these actions, such as: 

  • The NWT Breastfeeding Committee promotes and supports breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Initiative, in partnership with regional authorities and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. NWT Dietitians use the World Health Organization Growth Charts in practice and provide training to other health professionals.
  • Early Childhood Nutrition and Active Living Programs include:  A Healthy Family Cooking Program, promoting fruits and vegetables in all communities where Healthy Family programs (9 NWT communities have these 'at-risk' family programs) – early evaluation results have been positive; food and nutrition standards for all early childhood programs in the NWT; Healthy Beginnings – a healthy eating and active living toolkit for 2-5; MEND is being considered for a pilot site in 2013/2014.
  • Nutri-Step is being used for weight management in some areas of the NWT to assess and refer clients to Dietitians.

For a copy of the full document, visit: A Framework for Early Childhood Development in the NWT

Health Promotion Fund

The health promotion fund supports community-based projects that promote healthy residents in the areas of prenatal health and breastfeeding, active living, healthy eating, injury prevention and sexual health.  The funding supports small-scale activities that communities, small organizations and health workers (such as Community Health Representatives) determine as priorities within the priority areas established, based on best-practice and evidence of need.  The Health Promotion Fund was evaluated (process) in 2008/2009.

The Health Promotion Fund supports many projects that support healthy eating and active living, for example, traditional active lifestyles (teaching traditional skills and promoting traditional foods for youth as part of the in the Dehcho Region); School-based healthy eating and lifestyle projects, for example, the healthy lifestyle project at Samuel Hearne School in Inuvik that promoted being more active, and learning basic cooking skills and growing indoor gardens.

For more information, visit: Health Promotion Fund

Baby Friendly Initiative

The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) Provincial/Territorial (P/T) Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Implementation Committee represents all P/Ts and is a champion for BFI in Canada. It plays a key role in setting priorities and activities to move BFI forward in jurisdictions across the country and includes the following activities:

Current activities include:

  • Data collection: The goal is to collect relevant, accurate and consistent breastfeeding data for use in comparing breastfeeding practices between regions and provinces/territories. Updated breastfeeding definitions and a guide for data collection were revised in 2012. The BCC PT Committee is also involved in ongoing discussions about data collection processes at the provincial local levels.
  • BFI assessments: Identifying opportunities to increase capacity of assessors across the country to support facilities and organizations in being BFI designated.
  • Participation on national committees and development of key messages and practices:
    • Nutrition for Health Term Infants Recommendations: 6-24 months
    • Family Centered Maternity and Newborn Care National Guidelines

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared among provincial/territorial jurisdictions. All provinces and territories are members of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada Provincial/Territorial Baby-Friendly Initiative Implementation. 

For more information, visit Breastfeeding Canada

Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia 

Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia creates supportive environments and policies that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Built on a foundation of social policy and using a whole-of-government and multi-sector approach, the plan has four strategic directions:

  • Support a healthy start for children and families includes a focus on breastfeeding and creating supportive environment in communities.
  • Equip people with skills and knowledge for lifelong health includes developing physical and food literacy.
  • Create opportunities to eat well and be active includes developing healthy eating policies in all publicly funded institutions, building on the work done with schools and childcare facilities and increasing physical activity after school.
  • Plan and build healthier communities includes a policy and plan for active transportation when designing communities.

For more information, Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia

Sample video: Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia (other videos are also available on the web site).

Healthy Eating Policy Grants for Publicly Funded Institutions

Building on work in schools and childcare, Healthy Eating Policy grants have been provided to 23 projects in Nova Scotia for collaborative healthy eating policy work in healthcare, post-secondary education, sport and recreation and municipal governments. Initiatives include improving hospital cafeteria menus and reducing salt, healthy snacks in the workplace, programs to build healthy hearts and minds in colleges and universities and healthy eating policies in sport and recreation facilities.

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared between Nova Scotia and publicly funded institutions.  For more information, visit Thrive Nova Scotia

Nunavut Food Security Coalition 

The Nunavut Food Security Coalition is a collaboration of Inuit organizations and Government of Nunavut departments. It has been working with non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academic institutions and the public to develop the Nunavut Food Security Strategy. The Strategy addresses the pervasive issue of food insecurity in Nunavut and contributes to the overarching territorial poverty reduction plan, The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction. For more information, visit Nunavut Food Security Coalition

Nutaqqavut Health Information System 

The Department of Health has launched the Nutaqqavut Health Information System (NHIS), a comprehensive health information system that tracks the health and behaviours of pregnant women and children from the first prenatal visit through age 5. A stakeholder advisory group conceived of and designed the NHIS. It will provide data on a number of maternal and child health indicators, including food security, birth weight, breastfeeding rates, growth and development and nutritional deficiencies such as reported rates of rickets and anaemia in preschool children. When the database is fully operational the aggregated data will help evaluate health promotion policies and programs and inform evidence-based decision making. For more information, visit Nutaqqavut Health Information System

Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund

The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF) is a grant program that supports getting and keeping Ontarians active in community sport, recreation and physical activity. The objectives are to:

  • increase opportunities for participation in sport and recreation by developing new programs or increasing access to existing programs
  • support implementation of physical literacy as a foundation for lifelong physical activity
  • strengthen the community sport and recreation sector by providing training in areas such as coaching, youth development and volunteer development.

The OSRCF provides Ontarians with more opportunities to become physically active, including groups who experience barriers to participating and those who are traditionally less active.

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by Ontario and incorporated not-for-profit organizations. 

For more information, visit Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund

Ontario's After School Program

Ontario's After School Program provides funding to help sport and recreation organizations deliver quality programs for children and youth in priority neighbourhoods across the province. The programs generally run between 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and aim to help children and youth get active, develop healthy eating habits, gain confidence and do better in school, thereby helping to decrease childhood obesity and youth violence. Funding supports after school programs that offer activities in three core areas:

  • physical activity (get students moving through participation in structured and unstructured activities)
  • healthy eating (teach participants about nutrition and cooking healthy foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables.)
  • health and wellness (build self-esteem, resiliency, confidence and self-reliance among participants.).

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by Ontario, federal/provincial/territorial jurisdictions and other sectors (YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.).

For more information, visit Ontario's After School Program

EatRight Ontario

EatRight Ontario (ERO) offers email and toll-free telephone access to registered dietitians who provide advice on nutrition and healthy eating. The ERO website offers tools such as meal planners and resources to support healthy eating habits.

Phone services are available across the province in 110 languages increasing access to healthy eating information for family physicians and Ontarians. In 2012-13, ERO received more than 19,600 calls and emails and there were over 1,123,600 visits to their website.

ERO targets ethnic groups at higher risk of diabetes with information on diabetes prevention and culturally appropriate resources. It has also developed services and tools for the senior population to increase their access to healthy eating information. ERO is currently developing an online screening tool to assess toddler and preschooler eating and physical activity patterns.

This project is a partnership of many sectors and leadership is shared by Ontario and the Dietitians of Canada.  For more information, visit Eat Right Ontario

Healthy Kids Panel

As part of the government's Action Plan for Health Care, Ontario brought together a panel of experts to help reduce childhood obesity by 20 percent over five years. On March 4, 2013, the Healthy Kids Panel presented its recommendations. As a first step, the government is striking an inter-ministerial working group, chaired by the Ministers of Health and Long-Term Care and Children and Youth Services. The Ministers will direct actions to implement the panel's recommendations, which focus on:

  • starting all kids on the path to health by enhancing preconception and pre-natal care for families and promoting breastfeeding
  • increasing the availability of healthy food choices and expanding nutrition programs in schools
  • building healthy communities that encourage healthy eating and active living.

For more information, visit Healthy Kids Panel

English/French Reports: Healthy Kids Panel - English Reports

Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program

The Ontario Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program (NFVP) was established during the 2006-07 school year and provides fruit and vegetable snacks at no cost to elementary school students in Northern Ontario. In 2011-12 the program reached 106 schools and approximately 18,000 students.

In northern regions of Ontario, 62 percent of children 12-19 years of age do not eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables are significantly more expensive in Northern Ontario than the provincial average.

An evaluation of the program (in 2007) found that providing fruits and vegetables in combination with education materials improves students' overall fruit and vegetable intake, their willingness to try fruits and vegetables and their ability to make healthy choices.

Active Start PEI 

The goal of Active Start PEI is to provide every child between the ages of three and six with the opportunity to master fundamental motor and sport skills by participating in a high quality, province-wide program. The intended outcome is to develop children's confidence in participating in sport and recreation activities and a lifelong enjoyment of activity.

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by Prince Edward Island, federal and other sectors (Sport PEI, Early Childhood Centres, Recreation PEI, Regional Sport and Recreation Councils).

go!PEI

go!PEI is a province-wide initiative providing programs, education and support to islanders to help improve their physical activity levels and eating habits. Partners at provincial, municipal and regional organizations create programs and an environment to increase physical activity and healthy eating habits among the population. More than 12,000 Islanders have participated in over 45 go!PEI programs ranging from walking/running programs, healthy eating education, cooking classes and "come try" events. These programs were offered free of charge in 30-plus communities across the province.

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by Prince Edward Island, the Government of Canada and other sectors (Sport PEI, Early Childhood Centres, Recreation PEI, Regional Sport and Recreation Councils). 

For more information, visit go!PEI

2006–2012 Government Action Plan to Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Prevent Weight-Related Problems – Investing in the Future

The 2006–2012 government action plan (GAP) to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent weight-related problems – Investing in the future was released in October 2006. The goal of this action plan is to improve Quebecers' quality of life by allowing them to live in environments that promote the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles, a physically active lifestyle and healthy eating.

Given that life habits are acquired early in life, youth up to age 25 and their families are the first to be targeted by the various actions in this plan. These actions are based on five strategic priorities (healthy eating, a physically active lifestyle, favourable social norms, services for people with weight-related problems, and research and knowledge transfer) and affect various life environments (daycare, school, family, municipality, work, group, community).

Eight government departments and three government agencies are involved in the GAP. The ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) [Quebec department of health and social services], through its Direction générale de la santé publique [public health branch], ensures provincial coordination of the GAP. The public health branches take on this role regionally by holding Tables intersectorielles régionales en saines habitudes de vie (TIR-SHV) [regional intersectoral round tables on healthy lifestyles]. Currently, 16 TIR-SHV bringing together public health stakeholders, regional government departments involved in the GAP, elected officials, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working primarily on implementing the GAP actions at the regional level. These round tables are an important link in a large societal movement aiming to make environments supporting healthy lifestyles and preventing weight-related problems.

Note that although implementation of the GAP was to have been completed in 2012, work is still ongoing. For more information: 2006–2012 Government Action Plan to Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Prevent Weight-Related Problems – Investing in the Future

Quebec en Forme

Quebec en Forme (QeF) is a non-profit organization created under the Act to establish the Fund for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. QeF was founded following a partnership agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Lucie and Andre Chagnon Foundation. Its mission is to mobilize all of Quebec society to favour and maintain active living and healthy eating, which are essential to the full development of Quebec's youth. To fulfill its mission, QeF will devote $480 million over 10 years (until 2017) to group projects that promote healthy lifestyles to Quebec youth from birth to age 17. These local, regional and provincial projects involve mobilization and partnership. These projects complement the actions stated in the GAP. For more information: Quebec en Forme

Vision for creating food environments to support healthy eating and For a shared vision of environments supporting healthy eating, a physically active lifestyle and prevention of weight-related problems

The vision of healthy eating to create food environments supporting healthis a reference document for food suppliers in Quebec (i.e. people and companies that produce, process and market food). This tool offers a definition of healthy eating that helps to focus everyone's efforts on creating a supply that promotes health, by making it easier for individuals to make healthy choices. It also invites food suppliers to learn more about their role in improving the Quebec food landscape. For more information: Vision of healthy eating to create food environments supporting health.

For a shared vision of environments supporting healthy eating, a physically active lifestyle and prevention of weight-related problems is the result of a collaboration between the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Quebec en Forme and the Institut national de santé publique du Quebec [Quebec public health institute] and is consistent with the joint effort of all government departments and agencies involved in implementing the GAPIt offers a clear, detailed description of environments that favour healthy lifestyles and ideas to guide efforts to make the healthy choice the easier choice for individuals.

The purpose of this overall vision is to facilitate communication, increase collaboration and joint actions, and to share knowledge in order to improve the planning and design of interventions. By working in the same direction, those involved in creating environments that support healthy lifestyles and the prevention of weight-related problems can establish conditions that are conducive to change and the emergence of promising solutions. For more information: A shared vision of environments supporting healthy eating, a physically active lifestyle and prevention of weight-related problems.

Awareness Sessions on Environments that Support Healthy Lifestyles

The Quebec healthy lifestyles education committee has developed awareness sessions on environments that support healthy lifestyles. These sessions are intended for all decision makers, actors of all concerned sectors (school, municipal, transportation, development, etc.) and all levels of intervention (provincial, regional and local) involved throughout Quebec. Their purpose is to inform and persuade participants from various sectors to act and to take into consideration the different environments that interact to support healthy lifestyles (physical, sociocultural, political and economic). The sessions are conducted at the regional and local levels. On June 30, 2013, over 5 000 people participated in a session. For a shared vision of environments supporting healthy eating, a physically active lifestyle and prevention of weight-related problems is the document that guided the development of these awareness sessions.

Framework for the development of food policies in health and social services institutions - Focus on Healthy Eating: a Question of Quality

The purpose of this framework is to guide and assist health and social services institutions in developing, adopting and implementing policies that ensure a high-quality food environment for all clients (users, staff and visitors). This document insists not only on the need to rethink the responsibility involved in feeding a community, but also on revaluating eating as a whole. It deals with the specifics of each type of institution (workplace, short-term care, "substitute" living environment), positions the various issues and presents the conceptual model on which the orientations are based. All health and social services institutions with a food supply (more than 250 establishments) offering food services must adopt a food policy based on the framework. An implementation assessment is currently underway.

Implementing food policies in institutions lies within the framework of the GAP. For more information: Framework for the development of food policies in health and social services institutions - Focus on Healthy Eating: a Question of Quality

Policy Framework for Healthy Eating and a Physically Active Lifestyle – Moving Toward Health in Schools

The purpose of the Policy framework for healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle – Moving toward health in schools is to assist schools in their efforts to provide an environment that supports adopting and maintaining healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle, and developing  students' personal  capacities in this manner. In terms of government priorities, it is a concrete action to promote healthy lifestyles that targets the improvement of the population's quality of life. It is an action in the GAP.

To help schools improve their food supply and to help youth adopt a physically active lifestyle, the framework recommends nine orientations divided into three themes: school environments (healthy eating and physically active lifestyle); education, promotion and communication; and mobilization with partners.

For a general overview of the implementation of this policy in educational institutions, the ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport conducted a full review in 2009. For more information: Policy Framework for Healthy Eating and a Physically Active Lifestyle – Moving Toward Health in Schools

After School Time Period

Within Saskatchewan the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport has worked to align investments in the After School Time Period (ASTP) to the Multi-Sectoral Framework for Action and the 2013-14 Healthy Weights Action Plan. The goal is to increase quality, coordination and sustainability of ASTP programs and initiatives. Over the past two years investments have been made in:

  • an environmental scan and report on existing ASTP programs
  • development of an online ASTP hub to offer a cost effective and convenient communication tool to support ASTP proponents, leadership development and quality assurance training for practitioners
  • developing joint use agreements and other resources to support the ASTP. 

The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association has taken a lead role in coordinating ASTP activities within the province.

For more information, visit After School Time Period

Healthy Weights Strategy 

The Saskatchewan Ministries of Health and Parks, Culture and Sport are co-leading the development of the Healthy Weights Strategy, the focus of which is to develop a strategic framework based on stakeholder consultation and engagement and provincial goals; and to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan to measure the reduction of child and youth obesity and implement key actions across sectors.

A task group includes representatives from: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Government Relations and Ministry of Social Services. They are working across sectors with partners in and outside government to promote healthy weights and achieve a 5 percent decrease in the proportion of overweight and obese children and youth.

Early actions include:

  • enhancing primary health care services to better manage obesity
  • delivering Comprehensive School Community Health, which focuses on the health and well-being of their students
  • launching Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it (MEND) in Saskatchewan, with three-year funding provided by Saskatchewan Blue Cross, to deliver service to children in three age categories (2 to 4, 5 to 7 and 7 to 13).

Leadership of this project is shared.  

Saskatchewan in motion

Saskatchewan in motion will developschool active transportation planning activities to encourage physical activity among children during after-school hours. Funding is provided through the Government of Canada and the Saskatchewan Community Initiatives Fund. The project will train community members, parents and educators to further promote healthy lifestyle choices through in-person and online training modules. The training modules developed by Saskatchewan in motion will be shared with communities across Saskatchewan at no extra cost. These modules could be used in other jurisdictions. 

Health Promoting Schools Program

The Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Program in Saskatchewan is a 'whole' school approach to working together on key priorities for improving learning and health. HPS emphasizes a holistic understanding of health, involving physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. HPS is primarily focused on health promotion at a school level in order to enhance students' educational outcomes and to create the conditions that support healthy schools.

To date, 20 schools are involved in the HPS program, six rural and 14 urban. Schools were invited to participate in the program based on complexity of needs and health equity within the school community.

Renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy

Yukon Government renewed the Renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy (RYALS) this year and announced annual implementation funding of $250,000. The Strategy supports daily physical activity to combat childhood obesity and reduce the prevalence of chronic conditions. It supports Yukon's commitment to national physical activity targets, fosters environments that encourage active and healthy lifestyles and works toward improving the quality of life for Yukoners. 

Strategic directions include:

  • leadership and policy
  • community capacity
  • enabling environments
  • social marketing, programs and services
  • monitoring and evaluation.

RYALS is led by Yukon Government; however, successful partnerships within government with Education and Health and Social Services and with local NGOs have been forged to deliver quality programs and leadership across the territory. For more information, visit Renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy

After School Time Period Programming in Rural Communities

Implementation of the Renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy (2012) places considerable focus on the after school time period. Yukon Government partners with a local NGO which builds capacity for new after school programming, or to enhance existing programs. Support is provided to rural communities to develop programs or train after school leaders. Financial support is available for equipment purchase. A mentorship program to train leaders in rural communities is also available. A "Yukon Community Leaders Guide" is being developed to assist current and potential leaders in the after school time period and recreation leaders in rural Yukon.

This project is being led by Yukon and includes working with local NGOs.  For more information, visit After School Time Period Programming in Rural Communities

Wellness Plan for Yukon's Children and Families/Pathways to Wellness

The Department of Health and Social Services is developing a Wellness Plan for Yukon's Children and Families. This plan responds to concerns about the rise in chronic conditions and interest in promoting well-being and preventing illness by giving children and young people the best start in life. A holistic approach emphasizing the multi-dimensional nature of well-being and the influences on lifelong health guides this work. Factors which influence healthy weights at the individual and population level – including personal preferences and practices, the food environment, social norms and networks and health inequities – will be reflected in the plan. The target date for completion is March 31, 2014.

For more information, visit Yukon Wellness.

(The website was launched in July 2013 to provide evidence-based information on how to promote well-being that has been adapted to the Yukon context. Two discussion papers and a framework for monitoring child and family well-being are posted on the website).

Food and Drink Served or Sold in Recreational Facilities

Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon, the Government of Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations hosted a one-day workshop and are providing hands-on planning assistance to increase healthy foods and drinks served or sold at recreational facilities and events. The aim was to find practical ways of changing the food environment by "swapping" healthier choices for less healthy choices. Key stakeholders include facility managers, local sports and recreation leaders and municipal and First Nations governments.

This work was funded by the Government of Yukon and complements a territory-wide audit of food and drinks currently served or sold in recreational facilities. The audit was conducted as part of a multi-jurisdictional research project which also includes the governments of British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Quebec, as well as the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada. This project is funded by the Coalition to Link Action and Science for Prevention. For more information, visit Stay Active Eat Healthy

Air Miles-YMCA Physical Activity Program

The Air Miles-YMCA Physical Activity Program encourages healthy living and healthy weights among Canadian children, youth and their families through increased participation in YMCA physical activity programming and facilities. It is funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada's Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease (ISHLCD). The incentive-based program approach provides Air Miles reward miles to Canadians who use the YMCA. The program offers various ways of obtaining the reward miles, such as by participating at YMCA facilities (e.g. aerobics classes, gym facilities, swimming pools) or by registering children for day camps. The program is being implemented at 14 YMCA locations across three provinces (Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick) over 18 months, from December 2012 to June 2014.

This project is a partnership of many sectors with leadership shared by the private and not-for-profit sectors.  For more information, visit Air Miles-YMCA Physical Activity Program

Right to Play – Play for Prevention

Right to Play's Play for Prevention is a healthy living, activity-based approach to youth empowerment that addresses the diabetes prevention needs of urban First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) populations. The project aims to increase diabetes awareness, educate FNIM children and youth on prevention strategies and encourage a wide variety of ways to live an active and healthy lifestyle. This will be achieved by promoting leadership skills among Aboriginal youth; developing culturally appropriate tools and resources; providing opportunities for physical activity and promoting community development and sustainability. The program aims to increase the number of Aboriginal individuals trained to follow the Play for Prevention curriculum and lead events, as well as increase the number of Play for Prevention events and participants.

This project is being led by Right to Play and involves matched-dollar funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the private sector (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment), resulting in greater reach and more meaningful impact. This project will be implemented over 27 months, from February 2013 - April 2015. For more information, visit Right to Play

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada - Get B.U.S.Y.

The Get B.U.S.Y program provides children and youth with a range of physical activity opportunities (e.g. rock climbing, yoga) and promotes healthier eating choices (e.g. nutritious cooking classes). It is funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada's Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease. The program aims to create healthier and more active Boys and Girls Clubs (Clubs) environments and communities (e.g. increasing active transportation to the Clubs), in the 22 participating locations.

The project is being led by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and involves matched-dollar funding from the private sector (Sun Life Financial), resulting in greater reach and more meaningful impact on children and youth who attend Clubs across the country.  The project will be implemented over 24 months from September 2012 to September 2014.  For more information, visit:

Healthy Eating Awareness and Education Initiative and Healthy Eating Toolbox

Health Canada continues to advance healthy eating through the Healthy Eating Awareness and Education Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to increase awareness, understanding and use of Canada's Food Guide and improve Canadians' nutrition literacy by choosing the right amount and types of food at home, at the grocery store and when eating out. In March 2013, the federal Minister of Health launched the third phase of Health Canada's Eat Well Campaign on healthy eating and healthy weights with a focus on food skills. Health Canada has partnered with the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Dietitians of Canada, Food and Consumer Products of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and media groups. This has facilitated leveraging resources and partnerships to extend the reach and value of the Initiative to accomplish shared objectives.

The Healthy Eating Toolbox, a component of the Initiative is a central repository of healthy eating resources that stakeholders can share. It includes educational and marketing activities such as articles, quizzes, fact sheets, interactive tools, presentations, media relations and social media resources and materials from partners.

Leadership of this project is shared by federal/provincial/territorial jurisdictions. 

For more information on the Healthy Eating Toolbox, visit

For more information on the Initiative, visit

Nutrition North Canada

Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a food subsidy program for isolated northern communities.  The subsidy is provided directly to retailers, suppliers, and country food processors that apply, meet the program's requirements, and register with NNC by signing funding agreements with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Early results under Nutrition North Canada have seen prices in communities fall and stay below where they were before the launch of the program in April 2011. The cost of a healthy food basket in the North dropped an average of 8 percent during the first year, and more than 80% of the subsidy is going towards perishable healthy foods such as produce, milk and dairy products, meat and alternatives, and grain products.

Country foods (e.g. Arctic char, musk-ox, and caribou) are important sources of nutrients and play a key role in Northerners' diets. Under Nutrition North Canada, the Government of Canada subsidizes country foods that are processed in eligible northern processing plants .

As part of Nutrition North Canada, Health Canada is funding retail and community-based nutrition education initiatives in First Nations and Inuit communities that are eligible for the full retail subsidy, to increase knowledge of healthy eating, to develop skills in selecting and preparing healthy foods, and to strengthen retail-community partnerships. In 2012-13, over 1,000 initiatives were supported including: promotion of healthy foods, cooking skills classes, youth-focussed activities, in-store taste tests and grocery store tours as well as activities to support traditional or country food knowledge and skills.  Visit Health Canada's Nutrition North Canada - Nutrition Education Initiatives  web page for more information.

Working with Grocers to Support Healthy Eating and Measuring the Food Environment in Canada

Health Canada, in collaboration with the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Group on Nutrition (FPTGN), commissioned the developed two e-reports: Working with Grocers to Support Healthy Eating and Measuring the Food Environment in Canada.

The purpose of the first report is to improve our understanding of how the food retail environment could promote and support healthy eating. Actions underway in Canada and internationally are explored, including concrete examples of current promising or innovative practices aimed at supporting healthy eating with a focus on grocers. The current state of evidence, inclusive of gaps in evidence to improve our understanding of how grocers could support healthy eating, is also highlighted.

The purpose of the second report is to describe current Canadian evidence on geographical access to nutritious food and associations between food environments and diet-related health outcomes; explore current research initiatives aimed at measuring the food environment in Canada; and, highlight the limitations and gaps in current research related to the food environment.

Both reports are available on request. 

Initiative Categories

Indicators - tracking trends and gauging progress

Gathering information on the many factors that influence childhood obesity/healthy weights can help to inform and identify actions to support change.

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Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments and experts from across the country have agreed on a set of national indicators to report on every two years. The indicators provide information on healthy weights, physical activity and healthy eating, as well as information on the physical and social environments in which children and families live, learn and play.

The indicators presented in this progress report apply to our population as a whole. It is well known that subgroups of the population (e.g. Aboriginal peoples) experience poorer health status compared to the general population, but data limitations affect our ability to track these indicators for subgroups. The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Public Health Network is examining data sources for Aboriginal populations according to the indicators in this report and will provide an update on this work in the 2015 progress report.

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Provincial/Territorial Healthy Weights Dashboard

The dashboard represents a summary of existing initiatives with various levels of P/T involvement under the three key strategies identified in Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights.

Summary of existing provincial/territorial initiatives Download/print the PDF version

*Québec supports the general objectives of this framework, but does not support a Canada-wide strategy in a field that falls under its jurisdiction. Québec remains solely responsible for the development, implementation and communication of programs to promote healthy lifestyles within its borders. However, the Province intends to continue sharing information and best practices with other Canadian governments.