Health Sciences Centre Seeks Community Input for Healthy Eating Initiative
by Marcello Bernardo
To assist patients, families, employees, physicians and volunteers in improving their health, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre aims to be a role model. A new hospital-wide initiative called ‘Eating Healthy Together’ is a comprehensive approach to healthy eating at the Health Sciences Centre.
Community input will help shape the initiative.
The goal of ‘Eating Healthy Together’ at the Health Sciences Centre is to increase healthy food and beverages sold onsite at locations such as Flavours Cafeteria, Robin’s, Season’s Gift Shop and the vending machines. Healthy eating promotes health and wellness and helps to prevent and manage chronic disease. Helping people to live healthy lifestyles requires a supportive environment, as well as education. Supporting people to make healthier choices is another way to achieve the vision of Healthy Together.
“Northwestern Ontario is facing increasing rates of chronic disease, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity”, says Dr. Mark Henderson, Executive VP of Patient Services at the Health Sciences Centre and Regional VP, at Cancer Care Ontario. “Studies show that unhealthy eating behaviours are one of the main factors contributing to chronic disease and mortality in Canada. This leads to the question, ‘Why as a health care facility do we sell the very foods that contribute to the acute and chronic conditions we are treating?’,” says Henderson.
‘Eating Healthy Together’ at the Health Sciences Centre will include: healthy food and beverage guidelines, food choice availability and accessibility, and promotion of healthy choices through messaging and information sessions, and education about healthy eating.
Everyone is welcome to share input through an online survey. The results will help shape ‘Eating Healthy Together’ and inform about the specifics.
The community is encouraged to visit http://bit.ly/Eating_Healthy_Together
Those who complete the survey will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate for the Thunder Bay Country Market. The survey will be available until July 11, 2016.
“While there are pockets of healthy eating efforts within the Health Sciences Centre, there is no unified model or policy supporting the sale of healthy food and beverages at retail outlets,” says Cathy Paroschy-Harris, Director of Prevention and Screening Services and Registered Dietitian Professional Practice Head at the Health Sciences Centre. “We have the opportunity to be a community leader in encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy eating by setting an example for the entire Northwest. This model can impact health outcomes in a positive direction, and help individuals reach their health potential,” added Paroschy-Harris.
For more information, please contact:
Communications, Indigenous Affairs, and Engagement
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre