FREDERICTON (CNB) – The provincial government has released a framework that provides direction on addressing the root causes of poor nutrition in New Brunswick.

"Our province continues to see an increase in diseases and conditions related to diet," said Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health. "The Public Health Nutrition Framework for Action 2012-2016 is the first document of its kind in New Brunswick. It aims to build capacity within the public health system to promote good nutrition for the entire population through a population health approach."

During the next four years, Public Health, a division of the Department of Health, will develop and implement a co-ordinated approach to guide nutrition practices across the health-care system in New Brunswick by promoting good nutrition. The framework outlines five priorities:

●    food security;
●    healthy environments;
●    prenatal and early childhood;
●    breastfeeding; and
●    school-aged children and youth.

The framework was developed by a working group comprised of representatives from Public Health, Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network, the Department of Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living and the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick.

The development of the framework included an examination of population health data, an environmental review and consultation with more than 300 stakeholders.

This initiative supports the provincial government's Comprehensive Diabetes Strategy for New Brunswickers 2011-2015, which committed to developing and implementing a public health nutrition strategy.

"The latest New Brunswick Health Indicators bulletin indicates that 63 per cent of adult New Brunswickers and 24 per cent of children and youth are overweight or obese, which is cause for concern since obesity contributes to many diseases," said Cleary. "Through improved nutrition, many non-communicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are largely preventable."

Public Health will use the information in the framework to enhance and guide nutrition work throughout the province through various initiatives during the next four years.


●    Department of Health