Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

March 17, 2011 13:45 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Families Achieve Healthier Weights

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced funding for an innovative, community-based project to help families achieve and maintain healthy weights for their children.

"To curb childhood obesity, we need to find ways to change the environments that influence children's eating habits and activity levels," said Ron Cannan Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country. "That's why we're supporting this project to help families create the conditions in their homes that will support healthier weights."

The Government of Canada is providing over $150,000 to The Bridge Youth and Family Services Society to develop, test and implement education modules for parents and foster parent caregivers on healthy eating and physical activity. The Healthy Weights for Children modules will cover topics such as meal planning and preparation, activity planning, label reading and growing food.

"Parents, caregivers and guardians, play a key role in influencing their children's eating and activity choices and their general attitudes toward healthy lifestyles," said [rep from Bridges]. "By educating and supporting parents and caregivers on healthy eating and physical activity, we can help them achieve and maintain healthy weights for themselves and their children."

The modules will be piloted in Kelowna and neighbouring communities and then evaluated to determine their effectiveness in increasing parents' knowledge of healthy eating and physical activity, and helping them to adopt healthier behaviours for their families. 

Speaking on behalf of Minister Aglukkaq, Mr. Cannan noted that obesity is a complex issue that requires innovative solutions. "Canada's governments recently launched a national dialogue on healthy weights to help identify actions to curb childhood obesity," Cannan explained. "The lessons learned from projects like the Healthy Weights for Children modules can also contribute to the evidence and promising practices being examined to address the childhood obesity epidemic in Canada." 

Reducing obesity levels and promoting healthy weights is critical to the prevention of ill health. Last fall, Canada's Ministers of Health endorsed a Declaration on Prevention and Promotion, agreeing to work together and with others to make the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury a priority. Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights is the first action resulting from the Declaration. Under the Framework Ministers have committed to encouraging shared leadership and actions across jurisdictions to influence the physical and social conditions that promote healthy weights so that children have the healthiest possible start in life.

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