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New Brunswick’s doctors and local dietitians seeking input for new menu initiative

Building on the success of last year’s Make Menus Matter campaign which looked at the kinds of food served in school cafeterias, New Brunswick’s doctors and the New Brunswick Dietitians in Action are once again asking the public for input for a new project to examine menu options.

“We had a tremendous response to our campaign last year looking at school menus,” said Dr. Camille Haddad, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “Not only did we receive dozens of school menus from around the province, but we also had people telling us we should look at food served in hospitals, nursing homes, and more.”

The doctors and dietitians are now seeking ideas for new menus to examine. Suggestions can be shared through the Medical Society’s Twitter or Facebook pages, or by contacting the Society’s office directly. The chosen topic will be announced at a later date and a full campaign will run early in 2015.

“We want to know which menus New Brunswickers think most need a check-up,” said Vanessa Yurchesyn, Co-Chair of Dietitians in Action. “Should we look at something new, or revisit school cafeterias to see how things are there?”

Last year’s campaign drew attention to the wide variety in school cafeteria offerings across the province. Doctors and dietitians asked parents to send in pictures of their children’s cafeteria menus online. After a few weeks, the campaign was closed, findings were announced, and Magnetic Hill School was randomly selected to receive a healthy lunch provided by doctors and dietitians.

The school menus were reviewed by health professionals and while some did not receive excellent marks, others were applauded by kids, parents, and health professionals alike.

This joint initiative echoes the Medical Society’s stated commitment to improving the health of New Brunswickers. Previous initiatives have included exercise prescriptions for health, a partnership with RunNB to support their children’s running program, and a call for mandatory gym and cooking classes through to high school graduation.

Media contact: Aleisha Bosch, New Brunswick Medical Society, (506)458-8860, abosch@nbms.nb.ca