Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 20, 2013

Program takes aim at chronic health conditions

The Yukon government has pledged to spend $250,000 promoting active living in the territory.

By Ashley Joannou on February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

photo

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

GETTING ACTIVE – Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham, Anne Morgan of the Recreation and Parks Association of Yukon (beside Graham) and Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor are surrounded Tuesday afternoon by active youngsters at Whitehorse Elementary School, where the ministers held their news conference.

The Yukon government has pledged to spend $250,000 promoting active living in the territory.

Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor and Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at Whitehorse Elementary School.

The funding is the government’s annual contribution to the Renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy.

The grant money will go toward programs that promote active living for all Yukoners, but specifically targeting the rising rates of childhood obesity, Graham told the crowd, which included students from the school’s after-school program.

A graduate of the school in 1953, Graham said being active was easier when he was growing up.

“In those days, we didn’t have TV in Whitehorse. So after-school activity was very easy to come about, because we didn’t have anything else to do,” he said.

“We also didn’t have any school buses; we didn’t ride the school bus in those days – we had to walk to and from school.

“It wasn’t a big deal because Whitehorse was about one mile long, and Whitehorse Elementary was right in the middle of it.”

The health minister estimates that 80 per cent of the heart, stroke and diabetes problems seen in the territory are preventable through things like exercise and good eating.

“Like the rest of Canada, the Yukon is facing a rise in chronic conditions such as heart disease, strokes and type two diabetes,” he said.

“Many of these things are associated with the tremendous weight gain we’ve seen on average across the territory in our younger folks.”

Taylor said the money will go toward things like action grants for organizations in Whitehorse and the communities to develop programing, leadership training to run those programs, and classroom grants for schools to be able to afford equipment and specialized programing such as Special Olympics Yukon.

“We know that by increasing activity levels, encouraging the consumption of healthy food and adopting healthy daily habits, we can reduce the risk of chronic conditions,” she said.

“We know that if we create fun, interesting and accessible programs for our children and our youth ...  especially during the critical after-school period from about three o’clock to six o’clock, a time that is increasingly being spent watching television, playing video games or on the computer, we can better encourage healthy habits to guide our kids through life.”

The Yukon Active Living Strategy was created in 2000, and the government has contributed annually since then.

Last year, $150,000 worth of grants went to more than 50 programs.

This year’s money is subject to legislative approval in the 2013/14 budget.

“Physical inactivity and poor eating habits are contributing to reduced life expectancy for our children, and increased incidence of chronic conditions among Canadians of all ages,” Graham said.

“By taking action now and encouraging healthy, active living we can reverse this trend, help reduce health care costs and improve our citizens’ well-being.”

“Active living programs contribute so much to the quality of life of Yukoners wherever they live in our great territory,” said Anne Morgan of the Recreation and Parks Association of Yukon (RPAY).

“With our local partners, RPAY delivers healthy, active living programs across the territory, and together we are making a difference.”

CommentsAdd a comment

Anonymous

Feb 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I think affordable food costs for foods containing nutritional value needs to be looked at as eating healthy extremely important yet pretty pricey in this town.

Add a comment

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your full name and email address are required before your comment will be posted.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comment preview