Wellness, Culture and Sport

Wellnews team to visit Caraquet (09/01/30)

NB 84

Jan. 30, 2009

CARAQUET (CNB) - The second phase of a government campaign to reverse rates of obesity and physical inactivity among New Brunswick children and youth will feature the New Brunswick Wellnews Team at Place Saint-Pierre in Caraquet on Saturday, Jan. 31. Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert made the announcement today.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Random Acts of Wellness event, which is part of the Good News For a Change campaign, a uniformed Wellnews team will encourage families to be Wellnews reporters.

"It is both easy and fun," Albert said. "Families can take a fun and informative quiz on wellness. They can also tell their story on videotape in a simulated news anchor format, or enter their story on the website."

Everyone who shares a wellness story at the event or on the Good News for a Change website is entered into a contest for Tourism and Parks getaway packages, $5,000 in healthy food coupons, and a food makeover by McCain dietitian Rose Reisman.

"We believe that if families are made aware that even simple lifestyle changes can bring about significant improvements in wellness, they will make those changes," Albert said. "If we don't start doing something now, kids today may face a shorter life expectancy than their parents. So our objective is to make parents aware of this information so they can make the necessary changes to improve the lives of their children."

The Good News for a Change campaign promotes wellness in four key areas: physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco-free living, and mental fitness and resilience.

Obesity and smoking are the two leading causes of preventable death. Only 20 per cent of Canadians exercise with sufficient regularity to achieve optimal health benefits. New Brunswick is behind national levels.

"We want New Brunswickers to understand that we are facing a major wellness crisis," Albert said. "Youth obesity rates have tripled over the past 25 years. Only a third of Atlantic Canadians eat enough vegetables and fruit for good health, and 54 per cent of our children and youth are not physically active enough to achieve health benefits. This campaign is designed to encourage parents to change their behaviour, improve their families' wellness, and lead by example for their children.

"Wellness is good for our province, and we are encouraging people to be healthier," said Albert. "A healthy population will help us build a stronger, better, self-sufficient New Brunswick. However, the changes required for our residents to be well are significant. We believe this campaign will reach many New Brunswick families and engage them in adopting healthier lifestyles and being role models for their children."

Albert will be available to media during the event. Additional information on wellness will also be available.

09/01/30

EDITOR'S NOTE: More information on the wellness initiative follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle McFarlane, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.

Wellness quick factsHealthy eating

Physical activity

Tobacco-free living

Mental fitness

09/01/30