Section 4: Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy 2005 – Conclusion
Many innovative strategies and initiatives are already in place in all sectors – private, voluntary and non-profit, provincial/territorial and municipal, federal and beyond. But often these initiatives are undertaken in isolation, or in an ad hoc manner. The Healthy Living Strategy offers a means to ensure greater alignment, coordination and direction for all sectors. It provides a forum for multiple players to work collaboratively to achieve common goals. This integration ensures that stakeholders are better and more broadly informed, thereby facilitating greater synergy and improved identification of opportunities across sectors. Moreover, the intersectoral nature of the Healthy Living Strategy provides a national mechanism/resource for provinces, territories, the federal government and other sectors to develop and measure their own healthy living approaches.
This integrated action on healthy living will also serve to: raise awareness of effective interventions and enable best practices to be shared; fill gaps in knowledge development and exchange; ensure consistent messaging across sectors and to all people; assist community capacity in promoting and supporting healthy living; help counter the rising rates of chronic disease, overweight and obesity; and reduce health disparities.
Taken together, the goals, strategic directions, targets and priorities for action, will contribute to the success of the Healthy Living Strategy by helping to:
- Increase the prevalence of healthy weights – achieved through healthy means – among Canadians;
- Improve healthy eating practices and activity levels among Canadians, particularly children and youth;
- Increase the number of at-risk and vulnerable communities/individuals with access to affordable healthy food choices and appropriate physical activity facilities and opportunities;
- Improve infrastructure and neighbourhood design that support opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity;
- Reduce health disparities; and
- Ensure safe and healthy environments that make healthy choices easier.
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