Diet, physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking are the main modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases.1 While many guidelines and resources, like Canada’s Food Guide and Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults, have been produced, there has been very limited evidence of any impact at the population level.2 Suboptimal diet and physical inactivity are common among the Canadian population.1,3
- 85% of Canadians fall short of the current physical activity recommendations (150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise weekly).4,5
- 60% of Canadians report eating less than 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.6 25% of Canadians will eat from a fast food outlet.7
- 66% of adults being overweight or obese, with rising rates of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
As a family physician in Edmonton, many of the issues I see on a daily basis are the results of these lifestyle behaviours. Until recently, family physicians although important resources for people have had limited ability to change people’s behaviour.
Novel ideas to support people in their efforts to living healthy lives is needed. Send me your ideas!
The CHANGE program is one such idea.
What is CHANGE?
The CHANGE program, created by leading health professionals at Metabolic Syndrome www.metabolicsyndromecanada.ca, is a team-based approach to integrating nutrition and exercise interventions into primary care settings. By adding dietitians and kinesiologists into primary care settings to work collaboratively alongside family doctors, we can support patients through an effective yet personalized program. CHANGE has been tested in three different Canadian primary care settings and is currently working to expand to other clinics across the country.
About Dr. Doug Klein
Dr. Doug Klein is an Associate Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. His research experience has included both qualitative and quantitative research methods. He has strong connections to primary care physicians through his work with Primary Care Networks in Alberta. Dr. Klein is the Director of CHANGE ALBERTA, a multi-disciplinary research team that has several ongoing research and health promotion projects based in primary care in Alberta.
CHANGE ALBERTA TEAM MEMBERS:
- Lorian Taylor, Dietitian, Alberta Health Services
- Lee Green, Family Medicine, University of Alberta
- Denise Campbell-Scherer, Family Medicine, University of Alberta
- Leah Gramlich, Gastroenterology, University of Alberta
- Jennifer Klein, Gerontology, Alberta Health Services
- Christopher McCabe, Health Economics, University of Alberta
- Paula Brauer, Dietetics, Epidemiology, University of Guelph
- David Mutch, Genomics, University of Guelph
- Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, Gastroenterology, Nutrition Research, University of Toronto
- Sonja Reichert, Family Medicine, University of Western Ontario
- Angelo Tremblay, Kinesiology, Laval University
- Arya Sharma, Canadian Obesity Network
- Ohinmaa A. Schopflocher D, Jacobs P, Demeter S, Chuck A, Golmohammadi K, Klarenbach SW. A population-based analysis of health behaviours, chronic diseases and associated costs. Chronic Dis Can, 2006. 27(1): p. 17-24.
- Health Canada. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Health Canada; 2011.
- Klein-Geltink, J, Choi B, Fry R. Multiple exposures to smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity and overweight: Prevalences according to the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 1.1. Chronic Dis Can, 2006. 27(1): p. 25-33.
- Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Available from http://www.csep.ca/english/view.asp?x=949
- Colley RC, Garriguet D, Janssen I, Craig CL, Clarke J, Tremblay MS. Physical activity of Canadian adults: accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Reports. 2011 March; 22(1): Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE. Available from http://parc.ophea.net/sites/parc.ophea.net/files/Physical%20activity%20of%20Canadian%20adults%202011.pdf
- Dehghan M, Akhtar-Danesh N, Merchant A. Factors associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. J Hum Nutr and Diet, 2011. 24(2): p. 128-34.
- Garriguet D. Nutrition: Findings from the Canadian Community Health Survey: Overview of Canadians Eating Habits. Statistics Canada. 2004.