Tue October 16, 2012
School board candidates plan to take action to support healthy eating and physical activity if elected, according to a recent survey administered by the Nova Scotia Alliance for Health Eating and Physical Activity.
The survey, which was distributed to 85 candidates and had a response rate of 39 per cent, found that over half of the survey respondents referenced healthy eating, physical activity or physical health in their top five priorities if elected.
“These survey results are promising and show that these school board candidates understand they have a role to play in establishing policies, programs and services that support healthy eating and increased physical activity levels in the school community,” said Doctors Nova Scotia President Dr. John Finley.
“The school is a key setting where we can help children to eat better and be more active. We need to make sure we’re giving youth the health and academic advantages they deserve through supporting healthy choices in schools.”
Eighty-eight per cent of candidates who responded committed to working with communities, teachers, school boards, parents and students to advance policies that encourage healthy eating and physical activity among school aged children.
“I’m pleased that these candidates are committing to getting kids more active and eating better,” said Sharon Rundle, parent and nutritionist. “A healthy diet improves memory, problem solving skills, and creative abilities. I want all kids in the school system to have those opportunities.”
Although there was general interest in healthy eating and physical activity, there weren’t always clear and specific actions identified on how candidates intend to move the issue forward.
“In our province, on average, 80 per cent of grade 7 and 11 students don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Less than 5 per cent of grade 11 students meet the physical activity guidelines. Physical activity can positively influence math, IQ and reading. Taking action is important for long term health and prosperity.” explained Menna MacIsaac, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Nova Scotia.
“There are things schools can do to address these issues. Quality daily physical education, effective implementation of school food policies, encouraging youth to find active ways to get to and from school, and making sure that schools have the capacity to provide opportunities for physical activity are all important actions to take” added MacIsaac.
A full list of candidate responses can be found on the Nova Scotia Alliance for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity website.
The Nova Scotia Alliance for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (Alliance) is a network of agencies and individuals with an interest in promoting healthy eating and physical activity for overall health.
Communications Manager, Heart and Stroke Foundation
(902) 423-7682 x 3343