Many to health and well-being. The idea of

years ago, people ate food that does not contain preservatives. Moreover,
people used to spend a lot of time cooking their own food. Therefore, those
people did not have problems by the food that they ate, because all the food
that they ate was natural and healthy however, nowadays many, pizza or fried
chicken. Lifestyle and its effect
on health was a common topic of discussion in the Conversation on Health. The
importance of addressing issues related to incentives and disincentives for healthy
behaviour, healthy lifestyles for children and youth, smoking, and  personal responsibility, were highlighted in
many of the discussions and  submissions.
Healthy Lifestyles many participants voiced concerns related to unhealthy
lifestyles and their negative impacts on the health care system. Many believe that
the most fundamental issue related to lifestyle choice is poverty, and until
every person has the means to access healthy food, stable shelter, and
education, people will be unable to have full access to health and well-being.
The idea of targeting incentives to encourage healthier lifestyles among
vulnerable, at-risk populations was frequently discussed. Many participants
emphasized the link between healthy lifestyles, including diet, physical activity
and personal habits, and lower rates of chronic disease. Some suggested there
is a need to resist the tendency to look at disease specific issues and find
common risk factors. Many voiced concerns related to the apparent increase in the
inactivity and there was widespread recognition that lifestyle improvements
will require a long term campaign to educate the population to take
responsibility for their health. Many participants as an excellent program and
a step in the right direction. However, the people healthy living momentum must
be maintained. Many emphasized the need for integration between the
environment, transportation and health. Others discussed the importance of
infrastructure renewal in many communities to address the aging facilities. Communities
can and should play an important role in keeping us healthier… Every community
should have a long term development plan that stimulates healthier lifestyles, leads
to less… driving and more walking, bicycling and public transportation use, creates
more green spaces and community gardens, makes space for as much as possible
produce grown locally.

and Disincentives for Healthy Behaviour there was considerable debate about the
idea of incentives and disincentives for healthy living. A number of
participants wanted to look at penalties and disincentives through Medical
Services Plan premiums that would work like the Insurance there was widespread
concern that high levels of obesity in children are associated with poor diets
and sedentary lifestyles. Participants believe that school districts are struggling
with lack of funds for facilities to promote healthy lifestyles, and physical education
programs have been cut. Many of the youth who were consulted agreed that young
people can feel they are invincible and that they will not see the negative effects
of their lifestyle choices. For example, young people are smoking, despite the
people model, with health care premiums going down as risky behaviours are
eliminated or counteracted. Some suggested higher taxes on cigarettes, alcohol
and gambling, while others disagreed with the idea of disincentives or
penalties, emphasizing that they would not want the government to set policies dictating
what would be considered a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle choice. Many feel
that currently, there is no incentive to become healthier. The creation of public
policy supporting healthy lifestyles was certainly encouraged by participants. Suggestions
included: 100 per cent smoke free legislation, clearer nutritional guidelines
on food packaging and removing junk food from public buildings. Many participants
wanted to explore incentives that encourage healthier living including: tax
benefits or lower fees for gym passes or weight loss programs, tax credits for
those who stay healthy and the removal of sales tax from items that promote
healthy living

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exercise. Changes that enable people to live healthier lifestyles were also

such as bike lanes and affordable, accessible public transportation,

smoke-free environments. Participants support programs that encourage healthy behaviour
in youth and create affordable, accessible recreation.

we want people to engage in healthy lifestyles, provide incentives, for
example, reduce or do away with user fees for community centres and other
publicly run exercise facilities. Stop charging high rental fees for sports
groups to use fields, gyms etc… Money spent there is saved down the road by
having a healthier, happier society. Cuts to services go deeper than the dollar
value. Knowledge that it is unhealthy. Participants suggested that although
there should be more in-school promotion of activity and nutritious food
choices, it is also important not to push youth to extremes in healthy
lifestyles. Many believe that there are not enough incentives for children and
parents to be active and programs are too expensive for children already at
risk. Smoking The Conversation on Health received a considerable amount of
feedback related to smoking. Many participants believe there is a direct
relationship between smoking and overall health care costs. The higher smoking
rates in men than women, quit, eliminating retail displays, increasing the
number of tobacco cessation counsellors and remunerating physicians to counsel patients,
as well as increasing taxes on cigarettes and eliminating smoking from public
places, were among the recommendations related to smoking cessation. Several
participants emphasized that former smokers continue to have a higher risk of many
diseases, than do individuals who have never smoked. This stresses the fact
that while smoking cessation is critical; prevention of smoking uptake in the
first place is still the best approach. Many have pride in the fact that people
has been very successful in reducing smoking prevalence in all age groups.
However, participants emphasized that anyone that started smoking in the last
ten years is not paying attention to the widely known potential health risks
that are associated with smoking. Personal Responsibility

believe that our society suffers from a sense of entitlement and does not

the concept of personal responsibility for health. Similarly, participants

the health care system itself is geared towards being reactionary instead of

on prevention and early intervention options. It was widely recommended

people be empowered to take responsibility and be personally accountable for

use of the health care system. Some
focused on the importance of increasing the responsibility of families and communities
in raising healthy children, and providing them with the resources to do so.
Others suggested the development of health care and community networks that empower
people to take care of their health in a proactive way. Specific recommendations
included: giving printed report cards to patients outlining actions they should
take to improve their overall health, providing individual health assessments,
and giving patients control over or access to their own health records. In agreeing
that individuals must be accountable for their own choices, many emphasized
that alternate options in health care must be readily available. We must focus
more on health promotion and protection, and prevention of disease. Improving
our collective health and maintaining wellness is surely less costly than
treating disease. We must create environments, through policy and other
mechanisms, to make the healthy the easy choice such that tobacco reduction,
healthy eating and active living are supported by our environment, versus
discouraged as is currently the case. We must pay

attention to the determinants of health and take action to create the
conditions for individuals and families to achieve their potential. Critically important
is poverty reduction. Income is a powerful determinant of health.

regards to lifestyle, the majority believe that we need to make the healthy choice
the easy choice, including by alleviating poverty. Participants recommended
that the government play a leadership role in assisting the province to move
towards healthy living. To do this, many suggested providing incentives to
facilitate the adoption of healthy lifestyles and increasing people’s capacity
to take responsibility for their health.