Thrive! Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia
The province is addressing childhood obesity and preventable chronic disease with a plan that focuses on healthy eating and physical activity.
Premier Darrell Dexter and Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson released Thrive: a plan for a healthier Nova Scotia on June 7. The government-wide effort has 34 main points and $2.045-million in new funding for 2012-13.
"For the first time, Nova Scotia has a plan that makes health a government-wide priority," said Premier Dexter. "Thrive! builds on the great work already underway across the province. It supports, shares and celebrates our successes -- and it calls upon government and its partners to show leadership."
"We all know that poor diet and physical inactivity are putting children, youth and families at risk for preventable health conditions and diseases," Mr. Wilson said. "This plan lays out actions that we can take to reshape the places where we live, learn, work, commute and play. The choices we make are shaped by the choices we have. We want to make it easier for children, youth and families to be healthy."
Key actions in 2012-13 include:
-- consulting schools and school boards to determine what's needed to provide 30 minutes of quality daily physical education, and developing a plan and budget
-- designing new after-school programs to target junior high students living in rural and remote communities
-- expanding the Municipal Physical Activity Leadership program in municipalities and Mi'kmaq communities
-- increasing breast feeding through district health authorities by enhancing the use of best practice and clinical guidelines and a new grant program for community-based organizations
-- providing new grants to community-based organizations that support breast feeding
-- supporting baby-friendly designation at hospital and community health facilities
-- developing a provincial active transportation policy and implementation plan
-- increasing food knowledge and skills and working with partners to develop a provincial food literacy plan
-- launching a new program to provide children, youth, and families with opportunities for free access to sport and recreation facilities
-- supporting healthy food policy in public institutions, including regulated child care and public schools, and, with partners, expand into health-care facilities, sport and recreation settings, and universities and colleges
"As a pediatric cardiologist, I see the impact unhealthy lifestyles have on youth and their health," said Dr. John Finley, president of Doctors Nova Scotia. "If we want a healthier tomorrow for our children, the time to act is now."
In Nova Scotia, one-in-three youth, age 2 to 17, are overweight or obese and many more young people are at risk for a lifetime of health issues because of unhealthy lifestyles.
To develop Thrive! A plan for a healthier Nova Scotia, the province reviewed literature, best practices and activities across government, received advice from task teams and a scientific advisory panel and consulted interested groups and the public.
"This plan is about changing the way we live," said Premier Dexter. "Everyone must do their part to make Nova Scotia a place where children, families and all Nova Scotians can thrive."
Learn more and take the pledge at http://thrive.novascotia.ca .