• Healthy living habits in the communities
Feb 14, 2017

Many stimulating challenges for nutritionists and food technicians!

The work of nutritionists and food technicians varies according to the needs expressed by the community. The ultimate goal of their interventions is the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating habits. The challenges are many and exciting. Their involvement takes different forms, such as clinical nutrition or community programs, hence the need for discussion between colleagues. In order to share their successes and experiences, two or three videoconference meetings are planned every year in collaboration with FNQLHSSC and FNIHB nutritionists. At each meeting, we look at work being done in the communities. The activities take various forms: learning cooking skills, creating collective kitchens, training sessions in childcare centres, cooking classes in schools, home-based nutritional care, information booths in the workplace, awareness weeks about sugar-sweetened beverages, etc.


During our last videoconference, which was held on January 26, Éliane Beaudet presented body image workshops, which she jointly organizes with the school nurse and kinesiologist at the Uashat mak Mani-utenam community high school. It all started in 2013, after a survey among young people revealed that 80% of the respondents would rather have a different body shape. Recently, young people from 9 to 11 years old confided having suffered from bullying because of their weight. Some even went so far as having suicidal thoughts. The team psychologist also believes it is very relevant to talk with young people about body image. Aware of the issue, she launched a program regarding weight-related concerns and comments. She was inspired by the approach proposed by the organization Équilibre, which aims to “prevent and reduce problems related to weight and body image by actions encouraging and helping the development of a positive body image and the adoption of healthy lifestyles.” Its website (www.equilibre.ca) offers tools to professionals, employers and the general public. Activities are held twice a year as part of Le Poids sans commentaire week, held in November, and the International No Diet Day in May. Young people, who are more comfortable expressing themselves in writing, were invited to do so during these activities. Comments collected in 2016 illustrated changes in young people’s attitudes. Here are a few examples: Be careful what I say / It will change what I think of myself / I’ll stop laughing about weight-related issues / I’ll change my behaviour / I liked everything, because there will be less intimidation / Continue addressing the issue with many. Considering its positive impact, the program will continue in 2017 and activities will be implemented to also raise awareness among teachers. The participants in this videoconference liked the exercise and were inspired to develop projects in their own community. In closing, we remind you that March, which is nutrition month, is just around the corner. Many of our colleagues are planning activities. Stay tuned to know more about events being held in your community. We invite you to come out in droves and participate, as it is a perfect time to adopt healthy living habits.