What are the things making Canadians sick? The Chief Public Health Officer’s 2016 report on the health status of Canadians gives us some insight. So do the subjects discussed on Health Canada’s website.
Some of these health conditions may not pose a huge threat right now but could become a problem later on. Some are low risk but when an outbreak occurs, the surrounding publicity makes the pubic worry more than they really need to. And some are serious problems that put a strain on Canada’s health system. These are the most common health concerns in Canada.
Youth Substance Abuse
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The Public Health Agency of Canada notes that adopting healthy behavours early on is vital in taking first steps to healthy living down the road. Unfortunately, less than 10% of children (aged 5 to 17) meet the 24-hour movement guidelines, set out to establish healthy standards for children and youth when it comes to activity, sedentary behavior and sleep. As for adults, 80% of people over the age of 18 do not meet physical activity guidelines.
There are physical and emotional consequences to childhood obesity, which include (but are not limited to): low self-esteem, depression, sleep apnea and bone and joint problems. Canada’s Food Guide suggests taking initial steps with your children like limiting their intake of soft drinks and similar beverages, substituting water in place of sugary drinks wherever possible.
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The Opioid Crisis: Spotlight on Fentanyl
Between January 2016 and June 2018 there have been over 9,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, emergency hospital visits have increased by 73% in Ontario, that percentage attributed entirely to opioid poisonings alone.
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In terms of prevention where possible, healthy lifestyle choices play a part in controlling risk for some types of type 2 diabetes, and there are medicinal options for those with pre-diabetes. Based on a lack of understanding around the causes of type 1 diabetes, there are no known measures of prevention currently in place.
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One way to help reduce your risk is to find a job with a healthy work-life balance.
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Sexually Transmitted Infections
The proof is in the numbers, with 800,000 hospitalizations in 2016/2017 in Canada attributed entirely to alcohol-based conditions. In 2016, as noted in the report, alcohol was “the leading cause of premature death and disability worldwide, among people aged 15-49 years.”
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