BC Healthy Living Alliance Lists Top ‘Disease Prevention’ Policies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Today the BC Healthy Living Alliance is releasing a new report: ‘Healthy Living in BC – The Next Generation‘, which lists BCHLA’s top policy priorities for chronic disease prevention in 2011. The report highlights opportunities for the provincial government to encourage healthy living and prevent chronic disease by working with, and supporting local communities and other partners.

BCHLA Chair and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division, Barbara Kaminsky said, “There is so much we can do to make it easier for people to live healthy lives, but BC really needs an overarching chronic disease prevention plan that will address health inequities and this should be led by the next Premier and Cabinet.”

Outlining some of BCHLA’s other recommendations, Kaminsky explains “we can create environments that encourage healthy choices with things like: making nutritional information available at chain restaurants, providing more smoke-free housing and updating recreation facilities to serve changing communities.” She adds, “at the same time there are ways to subtly discourage unhealthy habits such as taxing junk foods and drinks, and limiting marketing to children.”

Chronic diseases, which include cancer, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases, consume the largest proportion of healthcare costs and are the largest causes of death and disability in the province. Eighty per cent of heart disease, 50 per cent of cancers and much of type 2 diabetes and lung disease can be prevented with the support of healthy living.

The BC Healthy Living Alliance is a group of organizations that came together in 2003 with a mission to improve the health of British Columbians by addressing the risk factors and health inequities that contribute significantly to chronic disease. This report and other BCHLA policy papers can be downloaded at http://www.bchealthyliving.ca/policy.

For further information please contact:
Rita Koutsodimos, Manager Communications & Policy
BC Healthy Living Alliance Secretariat
Telephone: 604-629-1630  Mobile: 604-989-4547
rkoutsodimos@bchealthyliving.ca