Lifestyle changes needed to improve health


I was interested to see comments on the need for increased health promotion in a recent article in your newspaper (Nunatsiaq News, November 5, 1999) on tooth decay and poor eating habits.

It rightly pointed out that so much time is spent responding to disease at our health centres that little time is left over trying to prevent it. Health promotion people throughout our country agree that there is a need to counteract the pressures towards harmful products, unhealthy living conditions and bad nutrition, and to focus attention on public health issues.

We need to work with people in communities to respond to the health gap within and to tackle the inequities in health produced by unhealthy choices

Nunavut will not be in better shape until we are.

We have to acknowledge people as the main health resource, to support them and enable them to keep themselves, their families and friends healthy We also need to accept the community as the essential voice in matters of its health, living conditions and well-being.

We have to re-orient health services and their resources towards the promotion of health and to share power with other sectors, other disciplines and most importantly, with people themselves.

People who are self-reliant, making good choices in what they eat and what harmful products they avoid, feel better and do better. Their own children are healthier and their grandchildren’s children will be too!

We have to reorganize health and its maintenance as a major social investment and challenge and to address the overall issue of our ways of living.

Nunavut will need all of us making our own personal, individual commitment to wellness. The sooner we decide to make the necessary changes in our lives the sooner we can get on with creating a stronger, healthier territory.

Caroline Anawak
Health Promotions Specialist
Dept. of Health and Social Services
Government of Nunavut

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