Happy Holidays from the APCCP!

As another year winds down, the APCCP has been busy planning for a successful 2013. Over the last two months, we have been involved in a range of activities as well as taking part in consultations across Alberta, such as the Wellness Forum in Calgary hosted by the Associate Minister of Wellness, the Honourable Dave Rodney. 

In the New Year, we will be launching a high profile advocacy campaign to secure a Wellness Foundation in Alberta. As part of this campaign, we will be working with new collaborators and engaging a broader cross-section of organizations and wellness champions. 
Stay tuned! 

In This Issue: 
  • Overview of the Proposed Wellness Foundation
  • Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Alberta
  • Alberta Primetime - Alcohol Misuse in Alberta
  • Update: Increasing Access to Healthier Foods and Beverages in Recreational Facilities
  • Get Involved: Sign the Petition for an Effective Program to Reduce Dietary Sodium Consumption in Canada
  • Member Spotlight: Growing Food Security in Alberta

Overview of the Proposed Wellness Foundation 

Over the last year the APCCP has focused on creating a comprehensive package of materials to explain why we need to make new investments in disease prevention by developing a Wellness Foundation and what a Foundation could achieve in Alberta. To review these materials, click here.

Now that this ground work has been laid, the APCCP developed a new document to further explain how a Wellness Foundation can align and function with the Government of Alberta, while ensuring transparency and accountability for Albertans. We collaborated with the Health Law and Science Policy Group to review how other jurisdictions with Foundations have created their governance and funding structures, as well as existing Alberta models that could be adapted.

View the New Wellness Foundation Overview on the APCCP Website or see below. 

Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage in Alberta 

APCCP supporter and PhD Candidate Sue Buhler (School of Public Health) recently released new research on the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Alberta. Sue Buhler suggested that a tax or levy on SSBs would reduce the consumption of these products that have been linked to poor health.

APCCP member, Kim Raine was also invited to comment on how new revenue from a tax or levy on SSB’s should be invested in a Wellness Foundation, dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion in Alberta.

Check out the media coverage below:

Study: Albertans highest consumers of sugar sweetened beverages 
Andrea Lauder, School of Public Health

Local researchers propose tax on sugary, sweetened drinks
CTV news

No harmless treat: drinks with sugar have direct link to obesity
Vue Weekly 

University researcher calls for tax on pop drinks
CBC News

Alberta Primetime - Alcohol Misuse in Alberta

According to the latest research, alcohol misuse costs the province around $1.6 billion dollars a year in health care, law enforcement, and productivity losses. Interested in exploring these statistics further, Alberta Primetime recently ran a segment on the culture of alcohol use in Alberta, inviting a panel of experts to weigh in on the issue. 

The APCCP was represented on the panel by our member, the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research. Click on the icon to watch the segment: 


Update: Increasing Access to Healthier Foods and Beverages in Recreational Facilities

Most food options in Alberta recreation facilities are inconsistent with recommendations put forth by Alberta's Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth (ANGCY). The good news is that innovative research is taking place in the province to help transform recreation facilities into hubs of healthy food. For the latest updates in this area, check out the recently published work by APCCP supporter Dana Olstad and APCCP member Kim Raine: 

  • Olstad, DL, Raine, KD, McCargar, LJ. Adopting and implementing nutrition guidelines in recreational facilities: Tensions between public health and corporate profitability. Public Health Nutrition. Available on CJO 2012. doi 10.1017/S1368980012004818
  • Olstad, DL, Raine, KD, McCargar, LJ. Adopting and implementing nutrition guidelines in recreational facilities: Public and private sector roles. A multiple case study. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 376. Also, be sure to review the APCCP's issue brief on the topic. It's available here

Get Involved: Sign the Petition for an Effective Program to Reduce Dietary Sodium Consumption in Canada

Did you know that Canadians eat more than double the amount of sodium that our body needs to function properly? Over 75% of the sodium we eat comes from processed, packaged, fast foods and restaurant meals. We need to reduce the sodium in these foods so eating lower sodium foods (the healthy choice) is the easy choice for Canadians.

Hold our federal government accountable for an effective program to reduce dietary sodium consumption by advocating for a national program to reduce dietary sodium consumption. Sign the petition to the honorable Stephen Harper here.

Background from 

  • Every year, high dietary sodium in Canada causes hypertension in 125,000, stroke, heart attack and heart failure hospitalizatitions in 40,000 and 14,000 to die with billions of dollars in excess health care costs.  Excess dietary sodium currently causes hypertension in 2 million Canadians. 7.5 million Canadians have hypertension with increased blood pressure being the leading risk for premature death.  
  • Canada needs to have a sustainable health care system for our future and that of our children.  The current sodium reduction program proposed for Canada is both expensive and likely to be ineffective.
  • The Federal government proposes to abdicate its responsibility for the health and safety of the food supply to the food industry without government oversight or monitoring.
  • About 4 in 10 deaths that occur due to chronic conditions (like heart disease stroke and cancer) are caused by widespread food additives (sodium, saturated and trans fats and simple sugars) with the increasing dietary causes of death believed to lead our children to live a shorter life than ours.​

Member Spotlight: Growing Food Security in Alberta

Growing Food Security in Alberta (GFSA) is an Alberta-based food security organization. Its mission is to engage Albertans in strategies to ensure secure access to adequate amounts of safe, nutritious, culturally appropriate food for everyone, produced in an environmentally sustainable way and provided in a manner that promotes human dignity. GFSA has been in operation for over 10 years. Currently, it has a network of over 300 members from across the province.  
GFSA fulfills its mission through a range of activities:

  • Development of three hands-on workshops that have been and are being delivered across the province; Community Building for Food Security, Advanced Community Building for Food Security and Food Matters - A Community Intensive based on the SELRS lens project  in central Alberta (Sustainable Equitable Local Regenerative System for food).
  • Cultivating strong rural relationships and partnerships through the workshops.
  • Presentations municipally, provincially, national and internationally – central Alberta mayors, university and college lectures, Food Secure Canada Assembly, Community Development Society and the International Congress of Dietetics (2011-2012). 
  • Taking the lead on Food Secure Canada's People’s Food Policy Project
  • Operates an open-source website, organizing monthly opportunities for sharing and learning via teleconference and maintaining an active social media presence.

GFSA completes the above activities through three active sub-groups:

  • GFSA Buzz: Focused on influencing policy change to reach Food Security and achieve Food Sovereignty in Alberta.
  • CBFS-SELRS Workshop: Updating the CBFS workshop agenda to incorporate the SELRS lenses and framework.
  • Awareness and Education (GFSA Website): Developing and maintaining the GFSA website and communication tools using Open Source Technology.

Next steps for GFSA: 

  • Hosted the very successful National Food Secure Canada Assembly in November of 2012.
  • Will undergo a name change to Alberta Food Matters and register as an Not-For-Profit organization by February 2013.  
  • Continue to be a convener and bringing people together for change toward SELRS. 
  • Foster sustainability through membership, partnerships and social enterprise. 

The APCCP is composed of 15 member organizations representing a broad range of practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and community organizations who work to coordinate efforts, generate evidence, and advocate for policy change to reduce chronic diseases in Alberta. To see who our members are click here.

Upcoming Events

Alberta Injury Control 2013 Teleconference Series
The series will provide a forum for educational opportunities and discussion for stakeholders working in the field of injury prevention and control. 

SHAPE - Winter Walk Day - February 6, 2013
Celebrate Winter by participating in SHAPE's Winter Walk Day.

Alberta Healthy School's Wellness Fund Grant Call
Funding available for healthy school initiatives. Next application deadline is February 14, 2013.

Parks Forum: Parks, Landscapes & Open Spaces - March 14-16, 2013
Explores new practices in the parks and recreation industry. 

2013 Alberta Sport & Recreation Leadership Summit  -  April 18-20, 2013
A development opportunity for the provincial sport, active living and recreation sector. 

CPHA 2013 Annual Conference - June 9 - 12, 2013
Presentations will explore how evidence can be used successfully in different situations and for different purposes. 

First International Conference on Prevention of FASD, Sept. 23-25, 2013
This international conference will address primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 


Database providing quick access to high quality health system and public health evidence
The Cochrane Collaboration

Alcohol Pricing in Canada - Report Series
Canadian Centre on on Substance Abuse

A Framework for Analyzing Public Policies - A Practical Guide
National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP), Sept. 2012.

A Social Policy Framework for Alberta: Fairness and Justice for All
The Alberta College of Social Workers and Parkland Institute, Oct. 2012

Impaired Judgement: The Economic and Social Consequences of Liquor Privatization in Western Canada
Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives Saskatchewan and Parkland Institute, Nov. 2012

The Raising of Minimum Alcohol Prices in Saskatchewan, Canada: Impacts on Consumption and Implications for Public Health
Stockwell T, Zhao J., Giesbrecht N, Macdonald S, Thomas G, Wettlaufer A. 
American Journal of Public Health, Dec. 2012. 

Developing Policy to Advance Physical Literacy in Child Care Settings in Alberta
WellSpring, Alberta Centre for Active Living

Copyright © 2012 Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention, All rights reserved.