Cancer and other chronic diseases account for 89% of all deaths in Canada and a large proportion of these diseases can be prevented through healthier lifestyles, including maintaining a healthy body weight. Work is currently underway across the country that encourages healthy living and increased physical activity and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is pleased to highlight a new initiative, Our Health Our Future: A National Dialogue on Healthy Weights to raise awareness of childhood obesity.
Launched today by Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial Ministries of Health and Healthy Living, this first of its kind initiative includes an online forum and submission centre at www.ourhealthourfuture.gc.ca to encourage Canadians to join the dialogue on childhood overweight and obesity.
A framework to address childhood obesity
Childhood overweight and obesity has been rising steadily in Canada in recent decades, with more than one-in-four children and youth in Canada are overweight or obese. Canada is facing an obesity epidemic and we all have a role to play to promote healthy weights and keep our children healthy. However, a complex system of factors contribute to overweight and obesity and to address these challenges, it is critical to change the social and physical environments that influence children’s and families’ eating habits and physical activity levels.
To address these challenges, last fall, Canada’s Ministers of Health agreed to a framework to coordinate our approaches to promote healthy weights for children under the age of 18.
Through Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights, Ministers agreed to make childhood obesity a collective priority. The Our Health Our Future initiative is a first action under this Framework and will kick-start a longer-term societal shift to support healthy weights by making the environments where children live, learn and play more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating.
Through an online forum and resource centre, the Our Health Our Future initiative allows youth, parents, caregivers and all Canadians to share their perspectives on the factors that contribute to childhood obesity and options that can influence and support healthy choices. The input received will be key to identifying actions to address overweight and obesity in children and youth and the outcomes will be shared at a national summit in fall 2011.
We encourage you share information about this important initiative and join the discussion by visiting www.ourhealthourfuture.gc.ca.