Foreword: Healthy settings for young people in Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada was created to strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to promote and protect the health of Canadians, and to provide a focal point to lead efforts in the advancement of public health both nationally and internationally.
As Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, it is my responsibility to report on matters relating to public health and share information and best practices with governments, public health authorities, and other stakeholders in the health sector, both in Canada and internationally. In this capacity, I am pleased to present the Canadian report on the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada.
HBSC is a valuable tool for monitoring changes in health behaviours and important health outcomes among young Canadians. The broad range of health-related issues addressed in the survey reflects the complicated lives of young people. The report identifies the importance of the links between physical, social, and emotional states, as well as between contexts, behaviours, and outcomes. By examining family and peer relationships, the school setting, and socio-economic status, we can gain insight into the strong impact certain settings and conditions have on risk-taking behaviours and health outcomes.
This knowledge helps us to measure the health progress of Canada’s young people and to better promote their health and well-being. It allows us to plan effective, evidence-based youth health policy and programming initiatives. Canadian HBSC findings also provide a valuable comparative data source for other developed countries participating in the HBSC study with similar youth health issues. HBSC is one of several resources that support the Agency’s vision of healthier Canadians in a healthier world.
Dr. David Butler-Jones
Chief Public Health Officer
Public Health Agency of Canada
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