Government of Canada launching healthy lifestyles program for youth and families

by Morinville News Staff

The Canadian government says a digital project will promote the adoption of healthier food and physical activity habits.

The government says one-third of children are overweight or obese, less than half of Canada’s youth report eating a healthy diet, and less than 10 per cent of Canadian children and youth aged 5 to17 obtain the daily recommended 60 minutes of physical activity.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced Friday the federal government would invest $3.1 million over four years for Living Green and Healthy – A Mobile Program for Youth and their Families.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the Childhood Obesity Foundation to create innovative and simple ways for youth and their parents to make choices throughout their day that contribute to better health and wellness over their lifetime,” Philpott said. “Living Green and Healthy is one good example of the many initiatives we are undertaking to complement our federal Healthy Eating Strategy to help make healthier choices the easier choice for all Canadians”

The Childhood Obesity Foundation is working with Ayogo Health Inc. and Merck Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in the development and dissemination of the program.

The program will include an online tool and mobile app that will encourage Canadians to start and sustain healthier behaviours over time.

The app will include tasks, games, and information, and will focus on healthy eating at school, home or out. Additionally, the program will help integrating physical activity into daily lives with live and virtual coaches that will provide support.

Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation Board said the evidence is clear that youth who embrace healthy lifestyle habits are more likely to be at a healthy weight and have a healthy body image.

“Our gamified online program will engage youth in a fun, interactive way to improve their health and the health of their families and will also emphasize the positive environmental benefits and cost-savings associated with healthier lifestyles,” Warshawski said.

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