Teaching healthy habits: kids' wellness program to be expanded across rural and Northern Canada through federal-private sector partnership

EDMONTON, April 7, 2016 /CNW/ - More children and youth in remote communities will benefit from a program aimed at improving physical activity, nutrition and mental health, thanks to the expansion of APPLE Schools into rural Alberta, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, to mark World Health Day.  

APPLE Schools has been operating successfully in northern Alberta since 2008, reaching over 16,500 kids to date. Results from these schools show that kids in this program eat more fruits and vegetables, are 35 percent more active and are 40 percent less likely to be obese than other students in Alberta. These positive health behaviours are proven to lead to less chronic disease and higher academic performance. New programming will focus on communities with representation from Indigenous or immigrant populations. Northland and Northern Lights School Divisions will be the first school divisions in which expansion will occur.

APPLE Schools is delivered in partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Inter Pipeline, The Joyce Foundation, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, and Allan P. Markin. Other financial contributors are HDF Insurance, TransCanada Pipelines and StatoilCanada. This is one of many partnership projects under the Government of Canada's Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease program that helps kids develop the skills necessary to lead more active and healthier lives.

Quick Facts

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing $2.4 million in this program. With additional funding from Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Inter Pipeline, The Joyce Foundation, Pembina Pipeline, Allan P. Markin, HDF Insurance, Statoil Canada, TransCanada Pipelines, APPLE Schools will receive a total investment of over $4.5 million, over six years.  
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada's Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention invests approximately $20 million each year in innovative partnerships and projects to promote healthy living and help prevent chronic diseases, injuries and obesity.
  • Nearly one in three children in Canada are overweight or obese, increasing their chances of developing a chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease later in life.
  • The economic costs of obesity were estimated at $4.6 billion in 2008, up about 19% from $3.9 billion in 2000, based on costs associated with the eight chronic diseases most consistently linked to obesity.
  • Factors that influence obesity include physical activity, diet, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, immigration, and environmental factors.


"Knowing that physical activity and healthy eating habits increase quality of life, self-esteem, social interactions and academic performance in kids, I'm delighted to announce that APPLE Schools will expand into more communities and schools across Canada. This will give more kids in rural and remote communities the tools they need to make eating healthy and exercising part of their daily lives. With today's World Health Day focus on diabetes, I am happy to bring attention to a program that is working to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

"APPLE Schools is pleased to continue to make a difference in children's lives in collaboration with school jurisdictions, industry partners and charitable organizations. Together we are committed to ensure that underserved children and youth are provided with opportunities to eat well, move more, and feel engaged and positive at school. We strive for healthy kids in healthy schools and are looking forward to seeing the school communities come alive with healthy living initiatives determined by their own communities." 
Dr. Lory Laing, Chair of The APPLE Schools Foundation

Associated Links
APPLE Schools
Public Health Agency of Canada


SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Contacts: Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709; Public Health Agency of Canada: Media Relations, (613) 957-2983

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