Top 3 in 10

Thank you to everyone who submitted their thoughts on how to make New Brunswickers healthier. Click here to read our report based on these ideas!

Open up a newspaper, turn on the television, or scan your Twitter newsfeed – sooner or later, you’re bound to hear some bad news about New Brunswick. “New Brunswick is one of the largest provinces in the country.” “Approximately 2/3 of the population is either overweight or obese.” “Fruit and vegetable consumption is among the lowest in Canada.”

Individuals play a significant role in determining their own health, certainly. But that’s a message we’ve heard before. Reminding people of the negative effects of inactivity and unhealthy diets, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, is only part of the solution. What if we made it easier for people to make healthier choices? What if, by acting now, New Brunswick was one of the top 3 healthiest Canadian provinces in 10 years?

That isn’t easy to do. We live in a time when it is easy to eat unhealthy food and remain sedentary. Despite the persuasiveness of infomercials and lifestyle gurus, the fact remains there is no silver bullet that can reduce obesity. Rather than one action that helps everyone, doctors believe we need to implement a suite of targeted policies that impact the known causes of obesity. This includes things like:

  • A provincial campaign to combat obesity, including goals, timelines, and annual progress reports;
  • Incentives for certain food producers that would increase the affordability of healthy foods;
  • Calorie and nutrition labelling on restaurant menus;
  • Funding organizations that promote physical activity;
  • Physician training that advocates making an active lifestyle and healthy diet central to healthcare provision, as well as encouraging the further use and development of prescriptions for exercise in physicians’ practice; and
  • Designing and implementing a public awareness campaign that promotes healthy eating in a way that uses simple messaging. This includes key ideas such as 1) The healthiest food does not require a label; 2) The preparation of home-cooked meals should be the norm; and 3) Reduce consumption of processed and ready-to-eat foods.

A report commissioned by the Province estimated that bringing our level of obesity down to the Canadian average would reduce hospital beds by 10 per cent. If the government’s prediction is correct, it would save New Brunswick $52 million annually. New Brunswickers have the means, the methods, and the motivation to combat this issue. What needs to happen for this province to see real change is a unified voice among the public, the medical community, and all levels of government. We need to see the population of New Brunswick, as a whole, ready to take back their health and ready for change.

We believe New Brunswick can be one of the top 3 healthiest provinces in 10 years. We imagine a province that supports its citizens to achieve their best health.

Want to help us get there? Share our video and our message, and let us know your thoughts. What are your health challenges? What could be changed in your community that would make it easier for you to be healthy? Through simple, smart changes, we can reach our goal of being one of the top 3 healthiest Canadian provinces in 10 years - #top3in10.

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Learn more: 

Doctors to New Brunswickers: Let's make our province one of the top three healthiest in 10 years
New Brunswick’s doctors launch photo series to lead conversation on healthy weights
Seven changes to make New Brunswick one of the healthiest provinces in Canada