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Overview of the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy

To support the strengthened Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy, Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Health and of Health Promotion/Healthy Living endorsed two initiatives that focus on the prevention of disease, disability and injury, and the promotion of health:

The Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy provides a conceptual framework that aspires to a future where all Canadians experience the conditions that support the attainment of good health.

The Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy framework focuses on preventing chronic disease and promoting good health by helping sectors align and coordinate work efforts to address common risk factors such as physical inactivity and unhealthy eating.

Many sectors, including governments, non-governmental organizations, private sectors and Aboriginal organizations, are partners in the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy. Together, they target the entire population — with particular emphasis on children and youth, those in isolated, remote and rural areas, and Aboriginal communities — to improve overall health outcomes and to reduce disparities in health among Canadians.

The strategy's first areas of emphasis are on physical activity, healthy eating and their relationship to healthy weights, and includes targets to obtain a 20 per cent increase in the proportion of Canadians who are physically active, eat healthily and are at healthy body weights, by 2015.

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health first endorsed the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy in 2005, joining other countries around the world that have recognized the fundamental importance of promoting healthy living behaviours through coordinated and sustained action. In 2010, the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy framework was strengthened, building on common risk factors and conditions, and pointing to new areas of opportunity, including preventing overweight and obesity, mental health promotion and injury prevention.

The strategy is a culmination of consultation and input from a wide variety of people and organizations across all sectors. For further information on the development of the Strategy, please refer to this background information.

Reporting on progress

The Public Health Agency of Canada, on behalf of the Healthy Living Issue Group, coordinates the development of annual reports that summarize progress made toward reaching the targets of the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy.