A new look at the health and nutrition of Albertan children shows more work should be done to combat unhealthy eating.
Kim Raine, o-author of The 2016 Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth, and University of Alberta professor at the School of Public Health, says research shows Alberta is not making the healthy choice the easy choice for children and youth.
Raine says she looked at 32 different indicators in five environments to get the best idea of where the province is at.
“We looked, for example, at the physical environment, which is what’s available to kids. So, food availability in schools, recreation facilities, child care centres, and even helpfulness of food ingredients of products that are marketed to kids, like cereal,” said Raine.”
The other areas were communications, social environments, political impact, and economics.
“There we compared the cost of a healthy food basket to what someone on social assistance, a family on social assistance would be alotted for food and so that helps us to know whether or not it actually is economically feasible for someone on a low income to feed their children a healthy diet.”
“So, even though we’ve got guidelines that say we should be providing these products, healthier products and limiting the unhealthy products, they’re not being implemented in those areas.”
The last report was released in January of 2016 and gave the province a grade of C. In the most recent report, released on September 26, gave the province a grade of D.
“The time for action is now.” (djs)