For the first time ever, I find myself very interested in Canadian politics. It’s pretty darn exciting and I must say, I do like Justin Trudeau…so far. Here’s hoping he follows through on what he promises us. I hope to see some positive changes in public health policy. Here’s what they are promising:
→ introduce new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec;
→ bring in tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats, similar to those in the U.S., and to reduce salt in processed foods;
→ improve food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods; and
→ additional investments of $40 million for Nutrition North and $80 million for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
There is also a push to persuade the new federal government to shift GST/HST from healthy foods to junk foods and launch a national healthy school food program. These two measures were not included in the Liberal platform but we want to see them happen (read more about that by clicking here).
This would be a great start to making real change for the people’s health in Canada, and be a catalyst for more healthy changes in our future. Everyone knows we need it. Canada has so much potential to be better. It’s about time we tap into that potential.
I personally would LOVE to see the following also happen:
→ $500 Adult Fitness Tax Credit established. This would have am impressive impact on the individual health of the Canadian people. The Fitness Industry Council of Canada has been fighting for this credit for several years. A lot of people in the lower to middle class could participate more at our local gyms or with a personal trainer if they could afford the extra monthly expense. A gym membership is not a necessity and it’s the first thing to go when times are tough. Knowing that you have support from the government to make healthy changes in your daily life would create a difference. I know that change has to first start within, but this certainly would help encourage that change.
→ Regulation of fitness and nutrition instructors, coaches, etc. There are way too many “instructors” unqualified to instruct, many without any kind of certification. Did you know that you can get a Beachbody certificate in 15 minutes online and then be “qualified” to give fitness and nutrition advice to clients while selling them supplements? Not only does this contribute to the amount of misinformation being taught, it puts people at risk too. Those who take the time to become properly certified, trained, and qualified to teach have to compete with this every day. If the new government worked with organizations, like Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. (canfitpro), together they can create a better system so people are receiving proper guidance from qualified professionals in the health and fitness industry.
→ Regulation of weight loss supplements! It’s high time we stop this nonsense. While some supplements can help people lose weight, many of the commercialized weight loss products are actually harmful. Not only that, often the people selling them have no idea about nutrition and are not certified. This is a recipe for disaster!
→ Support doctor’s in Nova Scotia to prescribe fitness and nutrition coaching to their patients and allow it to be covered under medical plans. If the government would regulate personal fitness and nutrition coaches, trainers, and instructors then we could register with this program, and with proof of our credentials, we could make the list to be referred to by a doctor. The doctor’s could be given this list with all our contact information and what we each specialize in so they could match up their patients with the right coach or trainer. This system would be a gem to our health care in Nova Scotia.
So there you have it. Some ideas worth discussing and exploring. I realize that creating changes and new systems take time but here’s hoping that the changes promised do happen.