What is healthy living?

With dramatically rising rates of overweight and obesity, “healthy living” needs to become a way of life for more Canadians. Making healthy food choices, staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are essential to good health, and key areas of focus for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Definition of healthy living:

At a population level, healthy living refers to the practices of population groups that are consistent with supporting, improving, maintaining and/or enhancing health. As it applies to individuals, healthy living is the practice of health enhancing behaviours, or put simply, living in healthy ways. It implies the physical, mental and spiritual capacity to make healthy choices. The Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy focuses on healthy eating, physical activity and their relationship to healthy weights.

In 2005, federal/provincial/territorial governments (except Quebec) agreed on an Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy. The Government of Canada followed up with the Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease, which focuses on healthy eating and physical activity as a way to maintain a healthy weight and decrease the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

PHAC, through the Healthy Living Unit, works closely with public health, healthy living, sport, and recreation counterparts in provinces and territories across Canada. Be sure to check out their web sites for more information on their healthy living initiatives.

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