Government of Canada invests in innovative healthy living ideas to encourage Canadians to make healthier choices
July 29, 2015 - Toronto, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
The National Healthy Living Platform: Carrot Rewards was launched today by the Federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, with the Government of British Columbia’s Minister of Health, Terry Lake and Andreas Souvaliotis, Founder and CEO of Social Change Rewards. The Government of Canada is investing $5 million in this project, and the Government of British Columbia is providing $2.5 million in funding to help create, implement and promote the new app. This project has already received initial commitments of over $15 million in total funding from governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector over a five year period.
The Government of Canada is partnering with the Government of British Columbia, Social Change Rewards, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and YMCA Canada to create the National Healthy Living Platform: Carrot Rewards app. The program will be launched first in British Columbia this fall, and then will expand to other provinces and territories in the future.
Social Change Rewards will develop Carrot Rewards, an online app, which will use incentives to reward Canadians for making healthy lifestyle decisions. Canadians will be able to download the Carrot Rewards app, which will be available in the fall, and receive their choice of loyalty points for engaging in specific health promotion activities that target the common risk factors associated with maintaining healthy weights and combating chronic diseases. Each time participants complete an activity they will receive points and will be further rewarded for completing follow-up assessments on an annual basis or other ongoing activities.
An existing program supported by the federal government through a partnership with the YMCA has shown that people engaged in a rewards program increased their physical activity 110 per cent and were active 2.8 times per week; up from 1.3 times per week. These types of programs have a track record of producing results that increase healthy behaviours, reducing the burden of cost on the health system for chronic disease.
Today’s announcement further supports the commitment by the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia for new, health-driven innovations. Carrot Rewards is another important initiative under the federal multi-sectoral partnerships approach to promote healthy living, and is another tool to add to the Healthy Families BC strategy, which focuses on improving the health and wellness of British Columbians through programs aimed at decreasing tobacco use, increasing opportunities for physical activity, supporting healthy eating, and promoting healthy weights.
This is one of many partnerships made under the Government of Canada’s Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, which invests $20 million per year in projects that focus on addressing common risk factors, such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and smoking, to prevent chronic disease. Other projects include The Play Exchange, a national challenge to encourage active living in Canada, the FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation soccer injury prevention program and the RBC and ParticipACTION Learn to Play Project, a national program aimed at improving physical literacy among Canada's children and youth.
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health, Government of British Columbia
250 952-1887 (media line)
H+K Strategies for Social Change Rewards