Nova Scotia’s doctors recognize the importance of policy, education, and dedicated funding to enable both societal and individual behaviour change that will result in a healthier population. We hope the political parties in this election feel the same way.
Unhealthy behaviours have an impact on the immediate and long‐term health of Nova Scotians, as well as the sustainability of the health‐care system.
Nova Scotia has among the highest rates of obesity, smoking, and chronic disease in the country. According to the provincial government, the burden of chronic disease costs the province’s health system more than $3 billion each year.
Nova Scotia youth are taking their first alcoholic drink at 13 years of age, nearly half of the province’s grade seven students use energy drinks, and 29.4 per cent of young adults aged 20‐24 years are smoking.
Vegetable and fruit consumption among Nova Scotia youth is alarmingly low. On average, 80 per cent of grade 7 and 11 students – and almost 90 per cent of grade 11 girls are not meeting the recommended daily servings.
To reduce these rates, government must:
- Create a culture of moderate alcohol consumption by limiting youth exposure to marketing, implement pricing changes, and increase drinking-driving counter measures.
- Restrict access to energy drinks for people under 19, develop comprehensive strategies to support education, and restrict marketing.
- Increase investments into the provincial tobacco control strategy by establishing a tobacco industry licensing fee.
- Increase investment into the Thrive! strategy to combat unhealthy eating and inactivity.
What can you do?
Talk to your candidates today about the importance of investing in health promotion and disease prevention. Use and share the information you’ve learned here with candidates, family and friends.
Need more info? Check out our election site for our 4 positions, access to candidates and their response to our questions.