The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Public Health Units help prevent the onset of many chronic diseases and their devastating effects, by supporting the development of healthy environments and policies, and providing information and tools that help individuals develop healthy habits such as eating healthy, nutritious foods, being active every day, and being smoke-free.
Healthy eating and active living can help create a healthier Ontario. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are essential for health and well-being. People who eat nutritious foods and are physically active are more likely to lead longer, healthier lives:
• Physical activity helps to reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and prevents further bone loss from osteoporosis.
• While estimates show that the number of Canadians in their 60s will increase by 50% over the next 10 years, a recent study indicates that 52% of Canadian baby boomers are inactive, with rates of obesity among this generation increasing by nearly 60% in the last decade.
• For seniors – even seniors with chronic health conditions – good health is associated with being physically active three or more times a week, being a healthy weight and eating fruits and vegetables at least five times a day.
• Diet, physical activity and maintenance of appropriate body weight can prevent between 30% to 40% of all cases of cancer, and about 50% of all cancer deaths are related to tobacco use, diet and physical activity.
• Researchers suggest that 90% of type 2 diabetes and 80% of coronary heart disease could be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, avoiding smoking and drinking moderately.
Healthy people use fewer health care services. Right now, Ontario spends almost half of its provincial budget on the health – or illness – care system. A healthier population could save us billions every year in health care costs. Good health drives economic growth, which helps create a prosperous province that can compete in global markets.
Learn more at HealthyOntario.com.
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