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Group advocates for healthy food in recreation facilities

by Paula Levy

 COUNTY - A group advocating for proper nutrition wants to see the Municipality of Lunenburg support policies concerning healthy food choices, particularly in recreational settings.

 The Lunenburg-Queens Recreation Coordinators-Directors Association members are concerned that unhealthy food choices are more readily available in recreational settings.

 Debby Smith of Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection said the South Shore has "horrendous" statistics. She said the South Shore has the highest overweight and obesity statistics in the province.

 "On the South Shore, we are doing the worst in Nova Scotia," said Ms Smith, noting that 60 per cent of the area's residents are either overweight or obese.

 Public health services nutritionist Shelley Moran added having healthier food available in facilities encourages people to make better food choices.

 She noted policies could have an impact on what type of choices are available in vending machines and in canteens or cafeterias.

 Recreation association chairman Chad Haughn said the group wants council's support in principle so they can develop a policy which could be supported by all municipal units and be used county-wide.

 "If we're going to make a positive impact on the health of our population, I believe that consistent messaging is the key to moving forward," said Mr. Haughn.

 The group wants to develop a draft policy which it hopes will be supported by the municipality.

 Councillor Donald Zwicker said the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre is working towards offering healthy food options at its future facility. He said the group has been debating the issue and has decided not to install deep fryers in its kitchen.

 "We want to go with healthy eating," added Councillor Zwicker.

 Council gave its agreement in principle and will involve its recreation director in the process.



posted on 01/11/11
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