Poor nutrition and obesity are major health concerns facing Canadian children. Alberta’s 2016 Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth was the second annual assessment of how Alberta’s current food environments and nutrition policies support or create barriers to improving children’s eating behaviours and body weights. This annual assessment aims to increase public, practitioner, and policymaker awareness of the relevance and status of food environments for children, with a focus on health promotion and obesity prevention. The grading system for the Nutrition Report Card evaluates over 40 indicators of five environments (physical, communication, economic, social and political) against benchmarks. For 2016, Alberta received a D in all five environments, indicating ample room for improvement. Ultimately, the goal is to conduct these assessments across Canadian jurisdictions to create a national Nutrition Report Card. The Nutrition Report Card Toolkit was developed to help in this process, as it outlines the steps of data collection, grading, and consensus decision-making for individuals interested in conducting their own community-based assessments. Overall, the Nutrition Report Card can help to improve children’s well-being by serving as a tool for government and non-government organizations, researchers, corporations, and foundations to support and develop enhanced programming and policies, as well as to identify areas that require further action and work.
Presenter: Dr. Kim Raine
Dr. Raine is a Professor and Associate Dean (Research) of the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She was trained as a Registered Dietitian.
Dr. Raine’s research program, POWER (Promoting Optimal Weights through Ecological Research), explores the social determinants of the obesity epidemic, and policy and community-based population interventions to promote healthy weights and prevent chronic diseases. She is a member of the Scientific Review Committee for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge.
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