Overview of jurisdictional approach
In 2011, the Government of Alberta began engaging Albertans in conversations about wellness. In 2013, it released the Strategic Approach to Wellness. Essential components of an effective strategy include creating a shared understanding of health and wellness and taking a population health approach that recognizes the social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to health and wellness. Alberta’s Strategic Approach to Wellness acknowledges the vital role that individuals, families, communities, community and professional organizations, industry and all levels of government have in taking action to achieve:
- improved health knowledge, skills and behaviours of individuals, families and communities that create wellness
- social and economic supports for wellness
- strengthened primary prevention with primary health care
- healthy public policy.
The bottom line is that Alberta’s approach is to enable adults and children alike to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to adopt healthy behaviours and build healthier communities.
School Nutrition Guidelines
In the fall of 2013, a provincial/territorial government (P/T) guidance document for the development of Nutrient Criteria for Foods and Beverages in Schools (2013) was completed by an F/P/T Group on Nutrition (FPTGN) working group with representation from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Health Canada. The guidance document is intended to guide and support provinces and territories as they develop and revise their guidelines over time, and to facilitate the food industry to develop or reformulate food and beverage products that use these nutrient criteria for procurement by jurisdiction’s nutrition guidelines and policies.
It is acknowledged that the responsibility for school food guidelines and policies varies across jurisdictions, and that creating consistency in nutrition criteria within school food and beverage guidelines can help leverage resources, reduce duplication of efforts, and allow for greater collaboration across jurisdictions, which is essential for a collective impact.
In October 2013, P/T Ministers of Health committed to “Encouraging the use of the ‘P/T Guidance Document’ as Provinces revise and Territories develop their school food guidelines”.
The guidance document was published in February 2014 in English and French and is available by email request at PT-Champion-SNG@gov.ab.ca. Questions and/or comments may also be sent to this address.
To facilitate monitoring the progress of jurisdictions to align with nutrient criteria, the Government of Alberta as P/T Champion for School Nutrition Guidelines will continue to update the contents of Appendix B as jurisdictions release their revised or newly develop school nutrition guidelines/policies.
Healthy School Community Wellness Fund
The Healthy School Community Wellness Fund encourages action to build healthy supportive school community environments. Since 2007, it has supported 274 projects that encompass almost 1,100 Alberta schools and more than 365,000 students. Funds are awarded at the district level to 56 of Alberta’s 61 (92%) public, separate and francophone school jurisdictions.
Since 2013, the Wellness Fund project team has been analyzing the Tell Them From Me student survey data (funded by Alberta Education) in Wellness Fund projects to identify correlations between academic achievement and the indicators used to measure health. The analysis shows a positive correlation between academic achievement and physical activity, positive social engagement, and positive school context. A negative correlation is shown between academic achievement and depression.
Since 2013, the Wellness Fund has been tracking the number of schools that complete the Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH) Healthy School Planner modules as a way of measuring the implementation of comprehensive school health in Alberta. In 2013-2014, 354 Alberta schools completed a foundational module for comprehensive school health. Projects also receive site visits annually from a member of the Wellness Fund project team and receive local support from Alberta Health Service partners to ensure the projects remain on track.
The Wellness Fund has provided more funding to schools in the low income (≤ $50,000) category compared to the average or high income (≥ $100,000) categories.
Healthy U Alberta
Healthy U Alberta supports and encourages Albertans to lead healthier lifestyles by providing information and resources on healthy eating, active living and mental well-being.
In June 2012, a “Health Champions” campaign with advertising, community outreach and resources encouraged parents and other adults to serve as healthy eating and active living role models for kids up to 6 years of age.
In 2013, the Healthy U 5&1 Experiment campaign was launched for children aged 6-12 years and their families. Forty-two “epic” experiments offered kids creative, off-the-wall ways to try for at least five servings of vegetables and fruit and one hour of physical activity daily. The campaign featured school rallies with YTV, mobile apps, advertising, private sector sponsorship, and visits by a Healthy U Crew who reached 129,436 parents and children with healthy living resources and prizes.
While the campaigns have concluded, the website (healthyalberta.com) and other resources remain, providing evidence-based information on healthy eating, active living and mental wellness for the public, schools, communities and workplaces. Evaluation results indicated that the campaigns helped address parents’ barriers to healthy eating and active living, improved their confidence in making healthy changes, offered useful resources, and may have contributed to small positive, changes in behaviour.
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. In Alberta, CS4L coordinates a number of initiatives, including:
Physical Literacy Coordination - Establishment of Regional Physical Literacy Coordinators in each of nine Be Fit for Life Centres across Alberta. Their role is to educate community stakeholders on the importance of physical literacy and appropriate programming, and to establish new opportunities to all community members including under-represented and/or marginalized populations.
Regional Physical Literacy Coordinators develop working relationships with community sport and recreation organizations affiliated with provincial organizations. Effective working relationships will be developed with schools and other community groups in order to support related programming and (CS4L) development in the region. The positions identify leadership opportunities in the region as well as barriers to physical literacy development to focus efforts on.
CS4L Coordination - Working with physical literacy and community partners to reduce a gap identified between provincial sport associations (PSOs) and other partners responsible for early athlete development (i.e. those developing physical literacy in Active Start through Learn to Train). Improved athlete development and effective alignment across partners will support participant transition and progression from one stage to the next and, where appropriate, identify stage-appropriate competition and training in the local or provincial sport systems.
Mapping Project - The Recreation and Physical Activity Division of Alberta Culture and Tourism and the Alberta Sport Connection on Canadian Sport for Life have collaborated in a mapping project to understand the reach and impact of physical literacy and physical activity promotion and sport participation efforts and investments. The Mapping Project will develop recommendations for “next steps” to enhance athlete development through quality programs rich in physical literacy supported by an aligned structure using a collective impact approach. It will also provide specific recommendations for improved alignment and integration of sport programs and services based on CS4L-LTAD principles and values.
An Active Alberta
Ever Active Schools is coordinating a number of projects with consultation and funding support from the Recreation and Physical Activity Division of Alberta Culture & Tourism and the Alberta Sport Connection.
Hosting Healthy School Sporting Events is a partnership between Ever Active and the Alberta Schools Athletic Association designed to shape the direction about healthier sporting events in the schools. Alberta Sport Connection has provided consultation and support to this project.
Physical Literacy - Professional Development: In the past two years, the Alberta Sport Connection has provided financial support to Ever Active Schools, which has offered a unique professional learning opportunity to explore physical literacy and how it lives within the current provincial physical education curriculum. In 2014, 60 individuals attended the Physical Literacy Summer Institute predominantly from education, but also from health, community and sport departments.
Parkland Play: This program takes a cross-sector, whole community approach to building physical activity. It was designed in partnership with multiple provincial active living organizations, large school jurisdictions, and the tri-municipal areas of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County to accomplish goals with the outcomes of Active Alberta. Parkland Play aims to develop a prototype that reflects a collaborative regional understanding of physical literacy and active living for all citizens with special emphasis on children and youth.
For more information, visit: Physical Literacy Summer Institute
Going the Distance: The Alberta Sport Plan 2014-2024 was renewed and released in July 2014. The renewed plan was based on eight months of consultation through a provincial sport forum, regional meetings, and an online public survey. A draft plan received further online input from Albertans across the province. From consultation to implementation, the Alberta Sport Plan takes a collaborative approach to position Alberta as a national leader in sport and to realize the positive impact of sport on people and communities.
Alberta Sport Connection (ASC) has been charged with implementing the renewed Alberta Sport Plan on behalf of the government. Recognizing that many contribute to the Alberta sport system, it is necessary to increase alignment and collaboration, and to coordinate efforts and activities to achieve a common vision.
For more information, visit: Going the Distance: The Alberta Sport Plan 2014-2024
Overview of jurisdictional approach
Promote, Protect, Prevent: Our Health Begins Here. BC’s Guiding Framework for Public Health (2013) is the directional document for the public health system with long-term goals and targets to drive system-wide action and improve health outcomes.
The Healthy Families BC (HFBC) Policy Framework (2014) relates to four of the goals in the Guiding Framework. It includes seven focused intervention streams:
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- Tobacco Control
- Early Childhood Development
- Positive Mental Health Promotion
- A Culture of Moderation for Alcohol Use
- Injury Prevention
It includes a set of approaches to guide implementation:
- Use multiple tools of influence
- Tailor actions across the life course
- Deliver within key settings
- Address health inequities
- Utilize behavioural sciences
For more information, visit: Healthy Families BC Policy Framework
Healthy Families BC – Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative
The Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative was launched in April 2013. It comprises three interventions that provide evidence-based support for families with children departing from the healthy weight trajectory.
ShapedownBC is offered in all five health authorities with coordination from the Centre for Healthy Weights, BC Children’s Hospital. ShapedownBC provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessments, referrals and supports for children aged 6 to 17 who are dealing with health and social issues related to their weight.
Working with the BC Parks and Recreation Association and the YMCA, the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition … Do It! (MEND) is an early intervention program for families who are ready to make lifestyle changes and to participate in group activities. It is delivered in 17 communities.
A new integrated telehealth intervention enhances the specialized pediatric and healthy weight coaching services currently provided by DietitianServices@HealthLinkBC and the Physical Activity Line. This intervention gives families living in remote communities much needed professional supports.
For more information, visit: HealthLinkBC
The British Columbia Sport Strategy
The Government of 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 and Arts Initiative and funding to the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council of BC (Partners Council). This is helping to reduce barriers to participation and addressing the risk factors associated with childhood obesity and healthy weights such as socio-economic and regional disparities.
The BC Sport Strategy focuses its investments and activities on physical literacy - teaching children and youth basic movements skills that give them the confidence and ability to enjoy and participate in sport and physical activity. This work involves partnerships at various levels including Sport Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, ViaSport BC, Directorate of Associations for School Health BC, Partners Council, and provincial, multi- and local sport and community organizations.
The Government of British Columbia After School Sport and Arts Initiative
BC’s After School Sport and Arts Initiative delivers programs in select schools between 3-6 p.m. where children are typically sedentary or at risk of participating in unhealthy behaviour. Activities include teaching basic arts and sport skills and popular physical activities (e.g. basketball, surfing, hip hop dance) – all tailored to community resources and children's interests.
Recent additions include doubling the province’s investment (to $2 million annually) to include arts programming, and piloting sport and arts programs for children with a disability. These additions recognize the unique interests and abilities of other children and are being used as strategies to engage children in physical activities who might otherwise not be.
This initiative brings together ministries responsible for sport, health, education, children, public safety and Aboriginal peoples, as well as federal and local governments, schools, sport, arts and social service groups, business and other partners.
The BC Ministry of Health has established a strategic multi-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:
- increasing awareness and promotion of physical activity through a strategic social marketing campaign focused on increasing play amongst children and youth
- increasing action in communities by providing enhanced implementation in BC of national campaigns including Sports Day in Canada and Bring Back Play
- targeting interventions to increase physical activity levels among children and youth
- increasing access to evidence-based physical activity information and support with a greater promotion of the BC Physical Activity Line and the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
- expanding the network of organizations and programming that already exists to support physical activity and take it to the next level
- facilitating the development of a BC Physical Activity Strategy based upon Active Canada 20/20 (national physical activity framework led by ParticipACTION)
- enhancing measurement of physical activity behaviours and attitudes and evaluation of physical activity interventions.
For more information, visit: Bring Back Play
BC Physical Activity Strategy
The BC Physical Activity Strategy is designed to guide and stimulate coordinated policies, practices and programs in physical activity that will improve the health and well-being of British Columbians and the communities in which people live, learn, work and play. It aims to foster active people and active places.
Active People: Initiatives and opportunities that enable all British Columbians to be physically active.
Active Places: Well-planned and designed environments that support encourage and enable active living.
The Strategy provides a collaborative, consistent approach for enhancing participation in physical activity in British Columbia. It acknowledges and builds on the ongoing work of government ministries, health authorities, and non-governmental organizations. Successful implementation of the Strategy requires action across a broad range of sectors, stakeholders and settings, and a commitment to increase physical activity levels by creating a variety of opportunities and supportive environments.
Physical Activity Line
The Physical Activity Line (PAL) is British Columbia's primary physical activity counselling service and FREE phone line and online resource for practical and trusted physical activity and healthy living information. The Physical Activity Line:
- provides health screening to determine a safe level and type of physical activity
- provides guidance to help British Columbians become more physically active, overcome barriers and stay motivated
- educates people with the most up-to-date, trusted physical activity and health information
- connects with health professionals and community health and fitness programs
- supports an integrated approach to improving health through collaboration with health professionals, programs and organizations
- provides evidenced-based resources to support health professionals and community health and fitness programs.
PAL is staffed by Qualified Exercise Professionals with advanced clinical training, managed by the Health and Fitness Society of BC.
For more information, visit: Physical Activity Line
Overview of jurisdictional approach
A range of government programs and supports are in place to help promote healthy weights among Manitobans. In addition to programs which promote healthy living, physical activity and healthy eating, Manitoba is also addressing socio-economic factors which have a strong association with obesity. Through All Aboard, Manitoba's poverty reduction and social inclusion strategy, the province is addressing larger issues such as poverty and food security. Manitoba has taken a holistic approach to promoting healthy lifestyles without focusing on weight loss as an outcome.
Northern Healthy Food Initiative (NHFI)
The vision of the Northern Health Foods Initiative (NHFI) is to support access to healthy food in northern Manitoba. The primary focus is on local food self-sufficiency. Objectives are to:
- Foster activities that improve food accessibility and healthy food choices in northern Manitoba.
- Support and engage collaborative efforts that will increase access to healthy food in northern Manitoba.
Five provincial departments work with five partners including a municipal advocacy association, a school board, a First Nations health authority, an economic development roundtable, a civil society organization and other community proponents to deliver the programs that target 101 eligible communities. Integral to the success of NHFI is partnerships with non-government organizations. Capacity building and infrastructure support is provided related to gardening, small greenhouses, fruit production, poultry production, nutrition awareness, etc.
In addition to NHFI, Manitoba is piloting the Affordable Food in Remote Manitoba (AFFIRM) initiative, a retail subsidy in 10 communities with some of the highest food prices in the north. AFFIRM will reduce the cost of milk and fresh fruits and vegetables in these communities.
For more information, visit: Northern Healthy Foods Initiative (NHFI)
Healthy Schools is Manitoba’s school health initiative. It is designed to promote the physical, emotional and social health of school communities. It is based on the belief that good health is important for learning and that schools are in a unique position to have a positive influence on the health of children, youth and their families. Healthy Schools has identified six health topics as priorities within the school community:
- physical activity
- healthy eating
- safety and injury prevention
- mental health
- healthy sexuality
- substance abuse and addiction
In 2015, Healthy Schools, in partnership with the City of Winnipeg and other community organizations, co-chaired the first ever Provincial Literacy Conference – Physical Literacy: The Gateway to Active Participation. This engaging all-day event provided participants with a solid understanding of physical literacy and the knowledge to move from promotion to provision for all sectors (recreation, sport, education, health, and early childhood education). This conference was rooted in Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L), a national movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity.
Fit Kids Healthy Kids
Sport Manitoba developed Fit Kids Healthy Kids with support from Doctors Manitoba based on physical literacy and the development of fundamental movement skills in children aged 3-12 years. The program is designed to teach children how to move with competence and confidence so that they may enjoy physical activity and remain active for life. Fit Kids Healthy Kids aids in community development, workshop delivery, training and capacity building for parents, caregivers and recreation workers in the area of physical literacy throughout Manitoba.
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. Farm to School Manitoba 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 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 provides 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 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: Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba
After School Physical Activity Programs
Rec and Read Mentor Program: The University of Manitoba, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management coordinates the Rec and Read Mentor Program. Through this program, university students are trained to mentor high school students who in turn mentor elementary school students to be more physically active and live healthier. Aboriginal youth are a key focus. Children and youth from diverse populations, including newcomers, are also invited to participate.
After The School Bell Rings: A Manitoba After School Recreation Project focuses on promoting and supporting increased access and opportunities for children and youth, ages 6-12 years, to engage in physical activity and healthy living practices in the critical after school time period. The project identifies resources and training to assist providers of after-school programs to increase physical activity, healthy eating and active transportation within their programs.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
In New Brunswick, responsibility for action on healthy weights is shared between several departments. The work of the Department of Health (Office of Chief Medical Officer of Health) is guided by the New Brunswick Public Health Nutrition Framework for Action 2012-2016. Five priority areas for action are based on a population health approach. They are:
- food security
- healthy environments
- prenatal and early childhood
- school-aged children and youth
The Department of Social Development champions New Brunswick's Wellness Strategy, with goals focused on healthy and resilient people and healthy and resilient environments. Key focus areas of the Department include healthy eating, physical activity, mental fitness/resilience. The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture focuses on sport, recreation and physical activity.
A series of video vignettes in English and French have been produced to normalize breastfeeding while depicting realistic expectations of breastfeeding. The purpose of these vignettes is to encourage mothers to feed their babies exclusively by breastfeeding and continue for up to two years and beyond, as recommended by world health authorities. The vignettes are the result of focus group research conducted with New Brunswick women. The women expressed how they were initially surprised that breastfeeding is much more challenging than they expected and how they sought out reassurance and support from friends, family and health professionals. The vignettes feature their stories and reflect the realities of breastfeeding while reinforcing that it’s worth it.
For more information, visit: Breastfeeding and Baby-friendly Initiative
Position Statement: Healthy Food Environments in Health care Facilities
Health care facilities are seen as important institutions. A large number of patients, visitors and family members visit these facilities, and they employ a large number of staff. The New Brunswick Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) strongly supports the development of healthy food environments in all health care settings in order to encourage and facilitate healthy nutrition choices for all New Brunswickers. The purpose of this document is to clarify and formalize the OCMOH’s position on this issue. It is to be used as a catalyst for garnering support and action across the health-care system. For example, in February 2014, the Nurses Association of New Brunswick board of directors endorsed the position statement and informed members through the association’s publications.
For more information, visit: Position Statement: Healthy Food Environments in Healthcare Facilities
Community Food Action Program
The Community Food Action Program provides funding for community-driven initiatives that improve healthy eating, with a focus on increasing food security. The initiatives in this program are to:
- increase food knowledge and skills in communities for all people involved in the program by providing learning opportunities in nutrition, cooking skills, growing food, locally grown foods and/or food systems
- increase access to healthy food by teaching food and cooking skills, and/or making nutritious foods and fresh produce more available
- increase community capacity by helping individuals and communities recognize their strengths, develop new skills and resources, and work together to reach their goals
- build strong partnerships.
In the first two years, 137 grants were awarded. Applicants included food banks, schools, seniors groups, First Nation communities, and community organizations. Examples of initiatives include community gardens, collective kitchens, intergenerational cooking classes, training for Community Food Mentors, and children’s summer programs.
For more information, visit: Community Food Action Program
After School Hours Initiatives
The after school hours have been identified as a key opportunity to promote physical activity and overall wellness for children and youth. The After School Hours Grant Program funds 50 organizations each year that deliver after school hours programs. Funding recipients include schools, day care facilities, boys and girls clubs, municipalities, and First Nations communities. Applications must reflect best practices as identified in a comprehensive After School Hours framework aimed at increasing physical activity and healthy eating, strengthening community connections, and supporting innovative homework and learning opportunities in New Brunswick. Through a partnership with Recreation New Brunswick, the NB PLAYS! Initiative is developing and delivering resources and training to strengthen the delivery of quality after school hours programs to recipients of the After School Hours Grants Program and other providers. NB PLAYS! builds on community assets and educates leaders on the importance of quality programming and its influence on children and youth’s health.
For more information, visit: NB PLAYS!
Get Outside NB! is an initiative led by Parks New Brunswick in partnership with key stakeholders with a common interest, including the Department of Social Development. A team of 13 engaged, informed and empowered youth leaders in provincial and national parks in the province have taken on the role of Youth Ambassadors. They connect young New Brunswickers and their families to nature through youth-led outreach events.
Get Outside NB! strives to strengthen youth attachment to New Brunswick parks by engaging their creativity and energy to design and deliver unique, exciting current programming in our parks during the summer months. The Department of Social Development promotes events in our parks to wellness stakeholders and the general public through its Wellness Movement social media channels.
Promotion of Physical Literacy through the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) Model
New Brunswick continues to promote physical literacy in a number of ways through Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L). Sport clubs and provincial organizations are eligible for funding to support the alignment of programs with their sport-specific CS4L. A Physical Literacy Summit was held to promote the value of physical literacy and getting people physically active. Funding is provided to groups across the province to implement new sport or multi-sport programs to targeted populations. The criteria for programs require organizations to support the development of physical literacy and participation in sport. Funding and support has been provided to the NB Gymnastics Association to develop a fundamental movement skills program. This program is ready for implementation.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
The promotion of health and wellness is a priority for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, as demonstrated through the establishment of the new Department of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development in September 2014. The new Department aligns government-wide efforts and facilitates positive change to improve the overall health and well-being of the people of the province. The Department brings together provincial strategies such as the Provincial Wellness Plan, the Food and Nutrition Plan, the Recreation and Sport Strategy, the Healthy Aging Policy Framework and the Poverty Reduction Strategy, to better identify barriers and policy and program solutions to support people to live well. Investments in these strategies aim to curb overweight and obesity, prevent the development of chronic diseases and improve overall wellness.
Provincial Community Healthy Living Fund
The Provincial Community Healthy Living Fund was established in the new Department of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development to streamline a number of existing community funding programs. The fund aims to improve overall health and wellness by investing in, and strengthening community action. The fund provides a coordinated approach and supports communities throughout the province to enhance their capacity to address healthy living, recreation and wellness. The Community Healthy Living Fund increases and encourages planning at the community level and realigns available funds to maximize impact in strategic areas (i.e. recreation, physical activity, healthy living, tobacco control, injury prevention and inclusion). Partnerships and collaboration among stakeholders has enabled a variety of community kitchens, after-school and community physical activity programs, and improvements to recreation facilities, equipment and trails in municipalities.
Addressing Food Security in Newfoundland and Labrador
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provides annual funding to support the Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador (FSN). With these funds, the FSN works with partners and communities to identify barriers and create community solutions to address food security. FSN Newfoundland and Labrador, with the support of the provincial government and partners, received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada for a 4 year project (2013-2017). The aim of the project is to implement, evaluate, and promote the Community-led Food Assessment model as a tool for increasing access to healthy food, improving health equity, and achieving healthier weights in Inuit communities across Canada. Five remote communities on the north coast of Labrador are participating (Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet), ranging in population from 250 to 12,000.
Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding in Newfoundland and Labrador
The Baby-Friendly Council of Newfoundland and Labrador supports efforts to increase public education and awareness of the importance of breastfeeding. Through a social marketing campaign that includes Facebook and Twitter, culturally appropriate breastfeeding messages are promoted which aim to assist pregnant and young families in accessing local information and supports. In 2014, the Baby-Friendly Council launched the Make Breastfeeding Your Business NL Labrador Tool Kit designed to assist businesses and organizations in establishing breastfeeding friendly public spaces. The tool kit includes information for employers and staff on how to support breastfeeding families. The Babyfriendlynl.ca website features a virtual map of local businesses, organizations and municipalities that support breastfeeding in the province. These initiatives are supported through annualized funding by the provincial government.
Eat Great and Participate - Healthy Eating in Recreation Facilities
Eat Great and Participate, an initiative developed through a healthy living bilateral agreement (2009-2015) with the Public Health Agency of Canada, aims to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and to increase access to healthy food and beverage choices in recreation, sport, and community facilities and at events. Eat Great and Participate is engaging 11 communities in a Community Participation Project. Each community has received funding to purchase healthy food and beverages, marketing materials, and commercial kitchen equipment that will enable them to serve healthier choices. The participating communities are encouraged to engage in activities that will help ensure healthy food and beverage choices continue to be available after the completion of the project.
Participation Nation Unplugged – After-School Initiative
Participation Nation (PN) Unplugged is a School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador program developed in 2010. It was designed to help reduce the amount of screen time for elementary and high school students in the after school time period. PN Unplugged is a recreational sport and physical activity program that engages students in moderate to vigorous physical activity through mass participation games in a welcoming environment. The five tenets of the PN program are fitness, friendship, fair play, fun and future. Grade 10 and 11 students volunteer as program leaders and are trained in High Five Principles of Healthy Child Development as well as training in practical gymnasium activities. PN Unplugged promotes an active lifestyle and provides an alternative to competitive school sports programs in the after school time period. The program is one component of an action plan in Newfoundland and Labrador targeted at increased physical activity, which also includes education and awareness, programming and evaluation. This plan aligns with the key directions outlined in Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial recreation and sport strategy.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
Healthy weights is approached in the Northwest Territories through a series of joint initiatives linked to existing programs and linkages focused on families and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. This is accomplished through joint actions as described on www.choosenwt.com (health, healthy living, sport, physical activity and recreation), joint strategies such as Early Childhood Development and Anti-Poverty, and support of departmental, regional, Aboriginal and NGO actions throughout the lifecycle.
Northwest Territories After School Physical Activity Program
The Northwest Territories After School Physical Activity 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 the creation of 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. Funding is also available to support the provision of healthy snacks for program participants.
Choose NWT is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ stamp of approval on healthy choices. It 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, consistent with the 17th Legislative Assembly’s goal of fostering healthy, educated people. The Choose bear paw marks important choices that can be supported and encouraged for: Healthy Children and Families, Healthy Eating, and Physical Activity. Healthy Eating includes a wide number of initiatives such as Drop the Pop, and Traditional Food and Vegetable Fact Sheets (eating traditional foods and local garden foods that are low in sugar, salt and fat) which promote healthy eating and physical activity. It also includes community recreation, active living and other programs.
For more information, visit: Choose NWT
There are approximately 10 programs listed on www.choosenwt.com outlining the recreation programs offered in the Northwest Territories. These include Get Active NWT, Recreation and Sports Programs, Regional Youth Sporting Events, etc. Programs are available for families, schools, communities, recreation and sport. There are physical activity programs at schools with mandatory physical activity.
For more information, visit:
Northwest Territories Municipal and Community Affairs and
Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Employment
Early Childhood Development
It is well known that healthy weight throughout the lifecycle needs to start prenatally with appropriate weight gain during pregnancy to avoid low or high birth weights. The Northwest Territories Early Childhood Development Framework offers support for a healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding, as the best means for healthy growth and development (breastfeeding is linked to the reduction of obesity), and healthy eating for toddlers. Under the Early Childhood Development Action Plan, early childhood centres and families are being provided with:
- information, tools and guidelines for healthy foods (and being active) and avoiding foods linked to weight gain among children, specifically with Healthy Beginnings 2-5
- recreation audits
- Feeding Young Children Manual
- collection of anthropometric data for children; etc.
For more information, visit: Early Childhood Development
One of the barriers to achieving healthy weights is food insecurity (lack of ability to access healthy, affordable foods). Through the Anti-Poverty Strategy, three funded programs that promote healthy eating and active living are:
- healthy school/snack programs
- healthy snacks for active after school programs
- healthy family cooking collective programs.
Evidence shows that the best way to achieve healthy weights is through healthy eating habits (and cooking skills) gained through eating as a family, cooking basic home cooked meals, learning cooking skills at an early age, and having access to healthy foods in addition to being active during and after school.
Community Wellness/Regional Initiatives
Community wellness and regional initiatives take the form of community-based programs that support healthy eating and physical activity through on-the-land activities, camps, accessing traditional foods, promoting healthy lifestyles and cooking programs.
Regional and community initiatives involve a variety of health system professionals (such as Dietitians and Community Health Representatives) who provide cooking classes as part of health promotion and primary prevention, screening (height and weight data collection for children) and counselling for people who are overweight and/or obese and where overweight and obesity have resulted in increased risk (or cases of) of chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes and heart diseases.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
Healthy living is often framed as an individual choice. But the choices we have are shaped by our environment. Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia works to create supportive environments and policies that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Thrive is built on a foundation of social policy and using a whole-of-government and multi-sector approach, as not all Nova Scotians have the same opportunity to be healthy and achieve healthy weights. Strong social policy is the foundation of all prevention strategies, including Thrive! Governments at all levels need to continue to implement and expand policies that help build supportive environments by working to achieve such things as providing a living wage, affordable housing, access to quality child-care, income and employment supports, employment standards and arrangements (including parental leave), and affordable transportation. We must also continue to improve our public education system so as to prepare every child for success, and create good jobs and a strong economy to support families and sustain quality public services.
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 environments 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 establishing policies and guidelines to guide decisions. Active transportation is one area of particular focus.
For more information, visit: Strategy and the 2014 Report and
Thrive! A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia
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, healthy eating policy development in colleges and universities, and healthy eating policies in sport and recreation facilities. Healthy Eating Policy grants will once again be provided in 2015 to support ongoing healthy eating policy development, implementation, and evaluation.
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
Municipal and Mi'kmaq Physical Activity Leadership Program (MPAL)
The Municipal and Mi’Kmaq Physical Activity Leadership Program (MPAL) is a partnership of the provincial government and local communities. The goal is to increase the number of local staff planning and implementing comprehensive plans to improve the participation in health enhancing physical activity. The provincial government provides funds, resources, needs assessment support, advice, capacity building opportunities and support for monitoring. The local communities provide funds and human resource supports, facilitate partnerships, and ensure the development and implementation of the strategy. Local plans are intended to be based on the socio-ecological model, engage whole of local government and engage community. Current priorities include females across the lifespan, youth aged 12-18, walking and cycling. In the province, 80% of municipalities and 70% of Mi’kmaq communities are enrolled.
Baby Friendly Initiative
In Nova Scotia, the Department of Health and Wellness continues to provide leadership for breastfeeding and BFI within the health system and across government. In 2014, the Department provided grants to the health system to enhance their capacity to implement BFI practices and move towards BFI designation. The Provincial Breastfeeding Policy is also being revised and updated to provide strategic direction to protect, promote and support breastfeeding within the health system. Through a provincial working group, a provincial formula contract will be established that includes requirements for the vendor to comply with components of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) Provincial-Territorial (P/T) Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Implementation Committee is a committee representing all P/Ts and a champion for BFI in Canada. The BCC P/T BFI Implementation Committee plays a key role in setting priorities and activities to move BFI forward in jurisdictions across the country.
BFI assessments: Identifying opportunities to increase capacity of assessors across the country to support facilities and organizations to become BFI designated. In 2014, the BCC hosted two training sessions to increase capacity of assessor candidates in Canada. The BCC has supported 24 facilities across the country to achieve current designation and are in the process of supporting additional facilities across the country in receiving BFI designation.
Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: A Practical Workbook for Community-Based Programs was developed through a collaborative partnership between the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC). The workbook aims to provide community-based programs and front-line staff with practical, best practice strategies to promote breastfeeding within a community setting, with a special focus on reaching vulnerable populations.
Representatives from the BCC Board attended the WHO/UNICEF, coordinators of the BFHI in Industrialized countries meeting in June, 2014. This is an important forum for the discussion, standards, liaison and sharing between different countries and between member countries and WHO and UNICEF.
A National BFI Symposium was held on April 15-16, 2015, to bring stakeholders together to increase capacity related to the BFI implementation in facilities and jurisdictions across the country.
The BCC released a BFI Status Report in 2014 providing a summary of activities of the BCC Board, sub-committees of the BCC, and highlights from the provinces and territories related to their efforts to move forward with BFI implementation. The final report can be found on the BBC website along with all the provincial and territorial contacts.
For more information, visit: BCC
Learn to Swim
This is a partnership between the provincial government and the Lifesaving Society of Nova Scotia. The purpose of the initiative is to increase physical education and physical literacy specific to swimming. It is a free, school-based opportunity to assist every school child in Nova Scotia to learn to swim. The Lifesaving Society of Nova Scotia offers their Swim to Survive program for Grade 3 students. In the last school year, it is estimated that 75% of Grade 3 children have been reached.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
The Government of Nunavut’s (GN) Department of Health is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing disease. The Department of Health works both with internal and external partners to advance these important public health priorities. Recognizing that individuals, families and communities play an important role in achieving optimal health and wellness, substantial investments have been made in the areas of training and in person skill development. The Department of Health has also created a number of great resources and tools to support community-based wellness programs such as a series of Core Recipes, Inuit Traditional Food – Nutrition Fact Sheet series, Breakfast Program Guide, and Cookbook.
Nunavut Food Security Coalition
The Nunavut Food Security Coalition is a collaborative group consisting of government departments, Inuit organizations, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and the private sector. The Coalition was established in June 2012 to develop a long term, ongoing, inclusive, and sustainable approach to food security in Nunavut. Through its Nunavut Food Security Strategy and Action Plan 2014-16, the Coalition seeks to address the determinants of food security through a wide range of initiatives, programs, and policies.
For more information, visit: Coalition
Drop the Pop
Since 2003, the Department of Health has organized a territory-wide annual campaign in schools encouraging students to ‘Drop the Pop’. The goal of the campaign is to promote the consumption of healthy beverages. It is centered around a challenge where students are encouraged to try not to drink pop for five days. As part of the campaign, schools hold Drop the Pop themed lessons, classroom and school-wide activities to help students learn about nutrition and making healthy drink choices. Teachers are provided with a teaching manual with age appropriate activities. Schools receive two posters, one promoting the campaign and one intended to bring awareness around sugar content of common beverages. These resources are updated on an annual basis in order to be responsive to identified community need.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
Ontario is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing childhood obesity. As a part of this commitment, in 2013, Ontario launched the Healthy Kids Strategy with three pillars:
- A Healthy Start - supporting health before and during pregnancy and the early years to build the foundation for healthy childhood and beyond.
- Healthy Food - initiatives to promote healthy eating, achieving healthy weights and healthy childhood development.
- Healthy Active Communities - building healthy environments for kids in their communities.
A Ministers’ working group is directing the government’s action on the Healthy Kids Strategy through collaboration and partnership to align government priorities and foster horizontal linkages across ministries on policies and programs related to promoting healthy childhood weights.
Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund
The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF) is a grant program that supports a vision to getting and keeping Ontarians active in community sport, recreation and physical activity. The fund:
- increases opportunities for participation in sport and recreation by developing new programs, or increasing access to existing programs, to encourage individuals to become more active and keep those who are engaged active throughout their lives
- supports implementation of physical literacy among individuals as a foundation for lifelong physical activity, enabling them to make healthier activity choices
- strengthens the community sport and recreation sectors by providing training in areas such as coaching, youth, and volunteer development to provide enhanced service and quality programming.
Through the support of projects that deliver high-quality programs and policies, 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.
The program supports projects of one or two years in length, at local/regional and provincial levels.
For more information, visit: Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund
Ontario's After School Program
Ontario's After School Program provides funding to help recreation organizations deliver quality programs for children and youth in priority neighbourhoods across the province. The programs generally run between 3:00-6:00 p.m. weekdays September to June and aim to help children and youth get active, develop healthy eating habits, gain confidence, and do better in school, all of which help 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 involves a multi-sectoral partnership with shared leadership between Ontario and local recreation service providers (e.g. YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs).
For more information, visit: Ontario's After School Program
EatRight Ontario (ERO), operated by Dietitians of Canada, offers email and toll-free telephone access to registered dietitians who provide advice on nutrition and healthy eating. It offers email and toll-free telephone access to registered dietitians who provide advice on nutrition and healthy eating. Phone services are available across the province in 110 languages. In 2014-15, ERO responded to 18,200 calls and emails and there were two million visits to their website.
The ERO website offers resources to support the development of healthy eating such as meal planners and nutrition screening tools, including Nutri-eSTEP for caregivers of toddlers and preschoolers, and Nutri-eSCREEN for older adults. These online interactive tools support client-focused change in knowledge, confidence and behaviour.
ERO supports ethno-cultural groups at higher risk of diabetes by providing culturally tailored diabetes prevention information and resources. Diabetes is consistently one of the main topics for phone and email contact with registered dietitians.
For more information and to contact a registered dietitian, call 1-877-510-5102 or visit: EatRight Ontario.
Supports for Breastfeeding Mothers
In collaboration with organizations such as the Health Nexus Best Start Resource Centre and the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH), Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) is driving adoption of the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) designation across Ontario by coordinating the delivery of supports, resources and training to hospital and community health care organizations seeking BFI designation and championing the benefits of BFI across the health system. BFI is the globally recognized standard for infant feeding and breastfeeding promotion. As of April 2015, three hospitals, two Community Health Centres (CHCs) and 15 Public Health Units (PHUs) in Ontario are BFI designated.
Targeted community supports: Ontario has funded grants to community healthcare organizations to develop and implement new initiatives, such as peer support and education, for mothers in population groups that have lower rates of breastfeeding and/or who experience challenges accessing existing breastfeeding supports. As of February 2015, two rounds of grant applications have resulted in the implementation of 61 targeted breastfeeding supports services.
As of April 2014, Telehealth Ontario began to offer 24/7 confidential breastfeeding support, advice and referrals from Registered Nurses with specialized breastfeeding training. In 2014-15, Telehealth nurses responded to over 1,300 breastfeeding related calls providing one-to-one coaching as well as referrals to local community services.
For more information, visit: BFI
Targeted community supports: Ontario Breastfeeding Services
24/7 Telephone Hotline: Ontario
24/7 Breastfeeding Supports
Policy/Program Memorandum 150 - School Food and Beverage Policy
In January 2010, the Ministry of Education released Policy/Program Memorandum (P/PM) 150, School Food and Beverage Policy, including the nutrition standards. As of September 1, 2011, school boards were required to ensure that all food and beverages sold on school premises for school purposes meet the requirements of policy, including the nutrition standards.
The nutrition standards apply to all food and beverages sold in all venues (e.g. cafeterias, vending machines, tuck shops), through all programs (e.g., catered lunch programs), and at all events (e.g., bake sales, sports events).
The nutrition standards are intended to improve the overall nutritional quality of food and beverages sold in schools, while taking into account product availability and cultural appropriateness. The nutrition standards were developed in consultation with education and health stakeholders, as well as the food industry, and embody the principles of healthy eating outlined in Canada’s Food Guide.
Achieving Excellence, Ontario’s renewed vision for education has elevated promoting well-being to one of four interconnected goals for the education system. The School Food and Beverage Policy is viewed as a key component in supporting the health and well-being of students.
For more information, visit: New School Food And Beverage Policy
Healthy Kids Community Challenge
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a community program launched in January 2014. Partners from different sectors (e.g. public health, education, recreation, local businesses) work together to implement activities to promote healthy behaviours for children.
In September 2014, 45 communities were selected to participate in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. These communities will receive funds and supports from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to implement local activities based on specific healthy behaviour themes. Themes will promote the protective factors for healthy weights for children and youth. Themes will be identified every nine months, focusing on physical activity, and healthy eating.
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge combines a community-based approach with centralized provincial supports to help communities develop and implement evidence-based policies, programs and environmental supports to encourage healthy behaviours in children.
For more information, visit: Healthy Child
Overview of jurisdictional approach
The Chief Public Health Office, through the Department of Health and Wellness, recently assumed responsibility for the PEI Wellness Strategy launched in January 2015. The Strategy has five priority areas:
- Physical Activity and Reduction in Sedentary Behavior
- Living Tobacco Free
- Healthy Eating
- Consuming Alcohol Responsibly
- Mental Health
The CPHO Health Promotion Unit leads this work using a population health approach and the Ottawa Charter framework. The purpose of this work is to enable Islanders to increase control over and improve their own health through broad collaboration and engagement within and outside of government.
Nutrition Guidelines for Schools and Early Learning Centres
The PEI School Nutrition Policy has been in place in all schools since April 2011. This policy applies to cafeterias, canteens, vending machines, school-based breakfast, lunch and snack programs, and fundraising activities.
Healthy Living Guidelines for Early Learning and Child Care Centres have also been developed to provide direction, advice, and specific instructions on how to create the healthiest and safest environments possible for children.
Registered Dieticians (RD) from the PEI Healthy Eating Alliance – a non-governmental organization – provide implementation support materials, as well as support for student nutrition teams, advice to food vendors, class presentations and general information to schools, students and families. Many partners contributed to the development process led by the PEI Healthy Eating Alliance.
School Breakfast & Snack Programs
The non-governmental organization PEI Healthy Eating Alliance continues to oversee school food programs across Prince Edward Island. They support the annual allocation of provincial government funding to PEI school food programs. In 2013-2014, more than 60% of PEI schools offered breakfast and/or snack programs, including fruit and vegetable programs. RDs support food programs with adherence to the school nutrition policy, supporting coordinators and volunteers, and improving program effectiveness.
go!Play After School Program
The go!Play After School Program is a movement-based, non-competitive after school program. During the 2013-2014 school year, it offered 35 programs delivered in 19 schools, reaching 984 participants. The initiative focused on rural schools and offered programming for students in kindergarten to grade 6 led by a trained program leader and supported by other volunteers. Participation ranged from 30% to 98% of the total school population and exit surveys from school administrators, teachers, students and parents have been very positive. The program is continuing in the 2014-2015 school year.
As an added activity in 2014-2015, go!PEI and the PEI Healthy Living Alliance (HEA) have partnered to add a healthy snack and lunches education session which is available to home and school organizations to schedule for the parents of their schools to attend. A registered dietitian from the HEA visits the school and delivers a presentation.
go!PEI is a community-based healthy living program that offers free physical activity and healthy eating programs for Islanders across PEI. go!PEI provides information and supports to assist all Islanders to make simple changes to their lifestyle to improve their overall health and quality of life.
The go!PEI team is made up of provincial partners (Cycling PEI, Island Trails, PEI Flavours and PEI Healthy Eating Alliance), regional sport and recreation councils, and municipalities. Through these partners, go!PEI delivers free programs to more than 30 communities across PEI focusing on walking, running, biking, hiking and healthy eating activities.
For more information, visit: go!PEI
Active Start aims to provide every child from 3-6 years of age with the opportunity to master fundamental movement skills. Professional development opportunities for early childhood educators and community program leaders have been offered so the skills can be introduced either as part of the daily curriculum or a community-led 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 the Government of Prince Edward Island, federal and other sectors (Sport PEI, Early Childhood Centres, Recreation PEI, Regional Sport and Recreation Councils).
School Health Grant - Physical Activity
go!PEI (via go!Play), Canadian Tire (via Active At School), the Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development have combined forces to offer a grant to increase physical activity opportunities in the time before, during or after school. The grant is designed to have schools and the community work together to identify new program and club opportunities, particularly for students not meeting the daily recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. The grant is available for every school in PEI.
Overview of jurisdictional approach*
Obesity prevention is rooted in a collective, mobilizing approach to facilitate healthy choices in communities. Québec is renowned for its unique societal mobilization model for healthy living. This mobilization involves stakeholders from many sectors (sports and leisure, education, transportation, family, municipal affairs, food and agriculture), at all levels of intervention. Intersectoral stakeholders are informed, organized and mobilized to establish environments conducive to a healthy living.
* Québec shares 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.
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) [Québec 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, visit: Investir pour l'avenir.
Québec en Forme
Québec 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 Québec and the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation. Its mission is to mobilize all of Québec society to favour and maintain active living and healthy eating, which are essential to the full development of Québec's youth. To fulfill its mission, QeF will devote $480 million over 10 years (until 2017) to group projects that promote healthy lifestyles to Québec 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: Québec en Forme
Awareness Sessions on Environments that Support Healthy Lifestyles
The Québec 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 Québec. 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.
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 health is a reference document for food suppliers in Québec (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 Québec food landscape. For more information, visit: Vision de la saine alimentation.
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, Québec en Forme and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec [Québec public health institute] and is consistent with the joint effort of all government departments and agencies involved in implementing the Government Action Plan. It 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, visit: Pour une vision commune des environnements favorables (Version PDF).
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 re-evaluating 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 Government Action Plan.
For more information, visit: Miser sur une saine alimentation : une question de qualité (Version PDF).
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 Government Action Plan.
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, visit: Going the Healthy Route at School
Overview of jurisdictional approach
The Government of Saskatchewan works collaboratively across ministries and their stakeholders to identify and support initiatives that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and have a positive impact on families, children and individuals. Through this cross-government approach, ministries work to align and coordinate various initiatives that pertain to the health of children and youth, including sport, recreation and physical activity participation.
After School Time Period
The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association has taken a lead role in coordinating After School Time Period (ASTP) activities within the province, with support from the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. Over the past two years, investments have been made in:
- resources to assist program providers with the development and implementation of an ASTP program
- quality assurance training and evaluation through the High Five model
- support for the comprehensive online directory of ASTP programs in SK.
Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! (MEND)
The MEND program in SK has three delivery streams: northern, Saskatoon and Regina/rural. This 10-week program provides a mix of education and physical activity opportunities for families to develop behaviours that support healthy lifestyles. Program partners in Saskatchewan include Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Sask Sport Inc, the Community Initiatives Fund, and the University of Saskatchewan.
Healthy Start is a bilingual initiative developed in Saskatchewan that increases healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in early learning environments, including early learning and childcare centres and pre-kindergarten programs.
Healthy Start is a new approach that engages directors, educators, cooks and parents in providing resources, training and ongoing support. It is a partnership of organizations led by the Réseau Santé en français de la Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Network for Health Services in French) with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
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.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
Yukon Government funds and/or delivers a variety of services, support and initiatives to promote healthy living, physical activity, healthy eating and mental well-being. An Interdepartmental Healthy Living Committee (Health/Education/Sport and Recreation) was formed in 2014 to coordinate activities related to healthy living arising from FPT commitments:
Together these strategies and plans provide a comprehensive approach to promoting healthy living with children, youth and families.
After School Programming in Rural Communities
The after-school time period has been identified as a priority for action by Canadian jurisdictions, including Yukon. The Government of Yukon has targeted a number of initiatives to all Yukon communities, with particular emphasis on rural communities in recognition that rural communities have fewer opportunities and resources to promote healthy living.
After School Action Grants – Provides grants of $2,000 for program costs (e.g. leaders, equipment, supplies) to get kids active after school. The initiative provides grants to First Nations, communities, schools and non-profit organizations.
RHEAL Leaders Program – Supports community-based programs designed to promote healthy eating and activity. Funding is provided to rural recreation leaders for wages, advertising, small equipment, healthy snacks and other resources.
Kids in the Kitchen – Provides training, equipment, lesson plans and support to community groups to deliver an after-school hands-on cooking and nutrition education program for children aged 6-11.
Healthy Living Menu – Provides a menu of healthy living workshops that can be delivered to rural communities, including workshops on Cycle Smart, Strength Training, YogaFit and Goal Setting.
Wellness Plan for Children and Families
The Wellness Plan for Children and Families (2014) is a roadmap for improving the health and well-being of children and families. It identifies three pathways to wellness:
- Getting a good start in life with nurturing adults and safe, stimulating surroundings
- Raising kids who flourish by creating opportunities for children and youth people to develop confidence, interests and positive relationships
- Healthy living for all by making healthy choices easier and equipping all people with information, skill and opportunities to make good decisions.
The Plan sets out many activities by the Government of Yukon to support these pathways and invites community groups, other governments, businesses and faith to align their activities with the pathways.
For more information, visit: www.yukonwellness.ca
Healthy Yukon Schools
Schools can influence the health and well-being of students directly through education, experiences and the school environment. The Government of Yukon takes a holistic approach to school health.
Self-regulation – Provides a framework to educate students about the management of stress. School and classroom interventions include healthy nutrition and the importance of physical activity, sleep, hydration, and calming strategies on stress reduction and mental health and wellness, as well as effective cognitive and social functioning.
Active Yukon School Grants – Provides grants of $500 to elementary school classrooms for program costs to get kids active at school. Information resources for teachers are also provided.
Winter Active for Life – Promotes physical activity in the winter by offering ski and snowshoeing equipment for loan. This reduces barriers to participation related to a lack of equipment. Schools, community associations and recreation centres can access enough equipment to offer group activities.
From the Ground Up – Supports elementary school fundraising activities by coordinating the sale of locally grown vegetables. Farm visits and healthy eating lessons complement this initiative.
Leadership development/capacity building
The Government of Yukon is investing in people at the community level to ensure they have the knowledge and skills required to initiate and run programs and spark others to take action.
Yukon Community Leaders Guide and Training - Includes tools and information for entry-level community leaders (e.g. recreation staff) in rural and remote communities. Pilot phase will lead to a three-year Yukon-wide training plan.
Annual Community Leaders Workshop - Brings together community leaders (recreation, RHEAL leaders) for an annual 2-3 day workshop. Training topics are based on needs/wants of participants. Leaders also strengthen relationships through networking and share experiences and successful practices.
Boys and Girls Club Mentoring Project - Provides youth leaders an opportunity to learn how to develop and run a successful after school program, based on the successful Weekday Warrior program run by Boys and Girls Club.
Accessible and affordable healthy eating - Provides information, cooking skills, food literacy, budgeting and shopping skills targeted to vulnerable populations (e.g. low income). Activities include community kitchens and menu planning assistance for groups providing meals.
Best Practice Guidelines - Three summary sheets set out guidelines on how to build wellness into programs, activities and events for children and youth, how to promote positive youth development, and how to promote community wellness.
For more information, visit: Best practices
Physical literacy is a priority for the Government of Yukon. This is reflected in the Yukon Active Living Strategy and future Yukon Sport Action Plan. In 2014-2015, Yukon hired a Physical Literacy Coordinator.
A Physical Literacy Plan for Yukon is currently being developed. Physical literacy is highlighted in the after school time period, RHEAL Leaders program (see above) and the pre-school physical activity kits/program delivered by Recreation and Parks Association of Yukon. Community and school visits include awareness and education around physical literacy.
Overview of jurisdictional approach
As with anti-tobacco efforts in recent decades, preventing childhood obesity is a long-term effort that will require the involvement of many sectors: the factors that contribute to young people becoming overweight and obese cannot be changed immediately. The Government of Canada does its part by investing in interventions that promote healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight- providing national leadership, policy and coordination, improving surveillance, helping build capacity in communities, supporting knowledge development and exchange, providing information to the public, and monitoring and evaluating interventions and innovations.
RBC Learn to Play
The RBC Learn to Play project is an initiative of the Royal Bank of Canada. It supports the promotion of physical literacy and the implementation of physical literacy principles in youth physical activity and sport programming at the community level. Through the delivery of community and program grants, the initiative will support local organizations to implement programs that help build confidence in children, as well as support communities in developing and implementing action plans to transform the way physical activity and sport is planned, delivered and organized within the community. The three-year, $10 million partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, RBC, and ParticipACTION will result in improved health by providing physical literacy-based activity opportunities and ongoing sport participation helping children to develop the foundation necessary to lead healthy, active lifestyles throughout their lives.
For more information, visit: RBC Learn to Play
Build Our Kids' Success (BOKS)
BOKS is an initiative of Reebok Canada, a before-school physical activity program aimed at getting elementary school kids moving in the morning and their brains ready for a day of learning. The five-year, $10 million partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, Reebok Canada, the Reebok Canada Fitness Foundation, the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, will help address the obstacles that prevent children from getting enough physical activity so they can lead more active and healthier lifestyles. This physical literacy initiative will develop the foundation for leading an active, healthy lifestyle and for contributing to successful school outcomes.
For more information, visit: Build Our Kids' Success (BOKS)
The Play Exchange, Canada’s Active Living Challenge
The Play Exchange is a national challenge launched in February 2014 at the Winter Olympics to crowd source ideas to get Canadians living healthier lifestyles. From February to June 2014, Canadians submitted their ideas for a healthier Canada, and hundreds of applications were received.
A group of high profile judges selected the top six entries, which received business planning support and mentoring to turn their idea into an investable project. In early January 2015, six ideas were showcased on a national CBC television special, with Canadians choosing the winner by voting online for their choice for the best active living idea.
The winning entry was Trottibus Walking School Bus. It will receive up to $1 million in investment funding from the Government of Canada to put the idea into action. As a pedestrian bus service, it provides elementary school children with a safe and fun way to get to school every day while being active.
The Play Exchange was a partnership of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Tire and LIFT Philanthropy Partners (LIFT), with support from CBC.
For more information, visit: The Play Exchange, Canada's Active Living Challenge
Soccer Injury Prevention Program: FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation
The objective of the Soccer Injury Prevention program is to promote physical activity in a safe manner by training soccer coaches across Canada to implement either the FIFA 11+ (for children aged 14 and older) or the Movement Preparation (for children aged 7-13) series of exercises as part of their warm-up routine in order to reduce the number of lower extremity injuries among youth playing soccer. Leveraging promotional capacity and scientific expertise from FIFA and Canadian Sport for Life, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) will engage its local soccer associations to deliver the program in all CSA clubs across the country. The $2 million project will implement an evidence-based program known to be effective in reducing injury rates among young soccer players.
For more information, visit: Soccer Injury Prevention Program: FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation
"Carrot Rewards": A National Healthy Living Incentive Platform
Carrot Rewards, developed by Social Change Rewards, Inc., is an incentive-based initiative supported by leading edge technology that will reward Canadians with popular loyalty points for participating in healthy living activities and making healthy lifestyle choices. This initiative is being first launched in British Columbia. By going online or downloading the free “Carrot” application on their mobile or tablet devices, Canadians will learn about reducing the chances of having a preventable chronic disease, and will be nudged towards taking various steps towards increasing physical activity, encouraging proper nutrition, quitting smoking, as well as other healthy behaviours. Carrot Rewards is a five year, $5 million partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and Social Change Rewards and is supported by Canada's leading health charities including, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and YMCA Canada. The Government of British Columbia is also contributing $2.5 million to this initiative for healthy living interventions that benefit British Columbians. Carrot Rewards will help Canadians make healthier and more sustainable choices and build healthy behaviours into their daily routines.
For more information, visit: "Carrot Rewards": A National Healthy Living Incentive Platform
Health Canada is improving nutrition labels in response to consultations with consumers, health organizations and professionals, industry, as well as provincial and territorial governments. Proposed changes include making serving sizes on labels of similar products more consistent, making calories more prominent in the Nutrition Facts table, providing more information about sugar content in foods, updating the Daily Values, and making the ingredient list easier to read. The goal of this work is to make labels more useful to Canadians in choosing foods for themselves and their families.
Health Canada launched the new Eat Well Plate, one of several tools designed to make Canada’s dietary guidance more consumer-friendly. The Plate visually represents a healthy meal, showing proportions of food groups, with a focus on vegetables and fruit. Health Canada is also modernizing how it communicates with the public and health professionals by developing the My Food Guide mobile application-- Canada's Food Guide on-the-go! With the app, Canadians can easily check how many Food Guide Servings they need to eat from each of the four food groups; choose their favourite types of foods from each food group; and see how much food is in one Food Guide Serving. Health Canada is also preparing to respond to calls for more information about sugars by producing tools and products that will support Canadians to better understand sugars in the context of a healthy eating pattern. These resources will help people meet Canada’s Food Guide and World Health Organization recommendations related to sugar.
In addition to these initiatives, Health Canada funds, on an ongoing basis, community-based health promotion and disease prevention programs that promote healthy eating and improve access to nutritious foods among targeted populations, including First Nations and Inuit. Funding supports community directed and designed programming that addresses local priorities. Examples of funded community activities include healthy food promotion (including store bought food and traditional or country food), cooking skills classes, school food and nutrition programming, retail-based activities including in-store taste tests and grocery store tours, community and household gardens, greenhouses, traditional food harvesting, community freezers, community kitchens, and food security community planning.