Besides not smoking, having a healthy body weight is one of the best things you can do to prevent cancer. About one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
The reasons for unhealthy lifestyles and the causes of obesity are complex and encompass social, economic, physiological, environmental and political factors. The reality is that no one policy option is going to change behaviours nor solve the increasing incidence of overweight and obesity in Canada. It requires a comprehensive approach which needs to:
• include multiple tools of influence (legislation, regulation, healthy public policy, education, information, programs, services and research)
• involve multiple sectors (whole of government, industry, civil society)
• be delivered in multiple settings (community, school, work, home) over a sustained period of time and across the life course
Coordinated action is necessary across all levels of government and across a number of different sectors to make healthy food and physical activity choices easier for Canadians. Two components of this approach are to enhance healthy eating and to enhance physical activity, at home, at work, at school and in the community.
The Canadian Cancer Society is committed to supporting public policy and programs that make it easier to keep a healthy weight, adopt a healthy diet and be physically active. A comprehensive approach to create supportive environments that make healthy decisions easier is required.
We want to emphasize the role of governments in helping shape policies that support healthy choices. The federal government specifically can play a strong leadership role in implementing policies and programs that will have an important population health impact. We also recognize that governments can’t do it alone. We need coordinated action across all levels of government and across a number of different sectors.