Doctors to New Brunswickers: Let’s make our province one of the top three healthiest in 10 years

FREDERICTON – With New Brunswick continuing to rank among the highest in Canada for obesity and among the lowest for fruit and vegetable consumption, the province’s doctors are calling on New Brunswickers to join them in setting an ambitious goal – making New Brunswick one of the top three healthiest provinces in 10 years.

“New Brunswick already has many resources that can help people to live healthier lives,” said Dr. John Whelan, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “We’ve got natural beauty everywhere you turn and lower costs of living than many other places in Canada. But we’re looking at what can be done that would make it easier for New Brunswickers to live healthier lives.”

The initiative focuses on community and environmental supports such as walking trails, food preparation education and affordable, nutritious food. It acknowledges the role that an individual’s surroundings play in influencing their health.

Kicking off the conversation is the Medical Society’s Forum on Healthy Weights, which brings together key stakeholders for a discussion about how the province’s population can be supported to achieve their best health. Taking place today in Fredericton, the Forum features a presentation from Senator Kelvin Ogilvie, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology that authored the “Obesity in Canada” report earlier this year. He is joined by Stephen Horsman, Minister of Social Development; Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the New Brunswick Health Council; and Andrew Holloway, Coordinator of the province’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Coalition (HEPAC).

The Forum plays a key role in aligning ideas and promoting collaboration between government representatives, health advocates, provincial organizations, and other professionals. It will produce a set of recommendations for government that will help the province reach the goal of making New Brunswick one of the top three healthiest provinces in Canada in ten years.

“While personal choices definitely have an impact on an individual’s health, we want to talk about the changes that can be made that would make it easier for people to make those healthier choices,” said Dr. Whelan. “Bringing together so many experts with different perspectives on these issues will really help us to pinpoint what can be done to support New Brunswickers to be healthier.”

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Founded in 1867, the New Brunswick Medical Society is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers. Over a hundred New Brunswick doctors sit on our Board and Committees, representing the 1600 doctors in the province.