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Province launches healthy communities program

By: Jonathan Migneault - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jan 27, 2014 - 1:02 PM |
Harmony Martel, a Grade 8 student at Princess Anne Public School, shows off a healthy snow man snack she made out of fruit with her classmates. The school hosted the Sudbury announcement of the provincial government's Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Harmony Martel, a Grade 8 student at Princess Anne Public School, shows off a healthy snow man snack she made out of fruit with her classmates. The school hosted the Sudbury announcement of the provincial government's Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Sudbury among a few municipalities that participated in live announcement

Students at Princess Anne Public School in Sudbury prepared healthy treats, made of fruit and shaped like snow men, as members from the Sudbury and District Health Unit gathered around them to announce the launch of a new program to promote healthy communities.

Sudbury was one of four communities chosen to participate in Google Hangout with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The premier announced the province will launch a new Healthy Kids Community Challenge to promote healthy lifestyles for the province's children.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2004 29 per cent of Canadian children were overweight or obese, compared to 14 per cent of children in 1978.

The 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measure Survey said children today are “fatter, rounder, weaker and less flexible than their parents were a generation ago.”

Municipalities will have until April 15, 2014, to apply for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. A panel with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will choose 30 communities to receive four years of funding from the program to promote healthy diets and exercise for children.

“If we want to cut down on our weight as we get older, then knowing what's healthy and what's not will definitely help us do that,” said Noah Fader, a Grade 6 student at Princess Anne Public School who was present at the program announcement.

Fader's teacher, Sean Pretty, said his students have been learning the Canadian Food Guide and how to maintain a healthy diet.

Princess Anne is also among a few schools in Sudbury that participates in the Spark program, which gives students access to daily aerobics and zumba classes.

“Students are learning the process that making healthy choices now at this stage in their lives will really benefit them as they grow older,” Pretty said.

@jmigneault
Jonathan Migneault

Jonathan Migneault

Staff Writer

@jmigneault

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