CMA Honours the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario for Excellence in Health Promotion

    OTTAWA, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
announced today that the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) had
received its Award for Excellence in Health Promotion. The award recognizes
individuals and organizations from outside of the health sector who have made
a significant contribution toward a healthy population and a healthy
    "The CMA's vision of a healthy population can only be achieved through
the actions of all Canadians," said CMA President Dr. Robert Ouellet. "We are
therefore delighted to present the 2009 Award for Excellence in Health
Promotion to this dynamic provincial organization whose contribution to
developing healthy self esteem and body image in all children has made a
difference in elementary schools across the province of Ontario."
    "The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is deeply honoured that
the Canadian Medical Association has chosen the ETFO Body Image Project as
this year's recipient of the Award for Excellence in Health Promotion," said
ETFO President David Clegg. "On behalf of our 73,000 members, I would like to
sincerely thank the CMA for this prestigious award."
    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario has created a school-wide
strategy to help young children develop healthy, positive attitudes toward
body image and self-esteem. Reflections of Me: Body Image and Self-Esteem is a
preventative educational program that teaches critical thinking and helps
children engage in healthy and productive choices in their lives.
    The Reflections of Me resource includes a set of lesson plans for
students from kindergarten to grade 8 that reinforce healthy attitudes,
acceptance and resiliency in young students. The resource is integrated into
the regular program and teaches students to accept diverse bodies, to promote
body acceptance, resistance to harassment associated with body image and to
question social adherence to body norms.
    Research indicates that attitudes toward one's body begin to develop at
age four or five. The effects of negative body image and self-esteem are
far-reaching and cause recurring problems for students, often resulting in
them withdrawing from social networks and doing poorly in academic subjects
and physical education - the very activities that could strengthen their
self-esteem and provide supportive environments.
    The Reflections of Me program is an evidence-based, preventative approach
to a serious issue. It encourages self-awareness and acceptance of differences
while building on other anti-bullying programs. The program also encourages
parents to use the same inclusive and supportive language to strengthen
children's healthy self-esteem and body image development.
    "As a federation of educators, we believe strongly in the importance of
advocating on behalf of our students," said Clegg. "If young children can
learn to accept themselves and others, we can hopefully help eliminate the
bullying and stereotyping that we see in schools and in society."
    This nomination was strongly supported by the National Eating Disorder
Information Centre of Canada, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, and the Media
Awareness Network.
    The CMA Award for Excellence in Health Promotion will be presented in
Toronto on Aug. 19th at the Sheraton Center during the ETFO's annual meeting.

    The CMA's Award for Excellence in Health Promotion was introduced in
2003. For consideration for this award, nominees must have contributed to the
improvement of health through health promotion actions, initiatives or
increased public awareness. Additional information on the CMA Award for
Excellence in Health Promotion including nomination forms can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, (613)
731-8610 or 1-800-663-7336 ext. 1266, Mobile: (613) 447-0866

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