The Quebec experience in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing obesity: how can we do better?
Over the last years, many actions have been implemented in the Canadian province of Quebec to prevent health issues related to diet, physical activity and obesity. As a new public health programme is being launched, the 'How can we do better?' project aimed to identify priority areas for further action. An exhaustive search led to identify 166 interventions rolled out in Quebec between 2006 and 2014. We compared it with evidence-based recommendations. Findings were challenged during a 2-d deliberative forum gathering 25 key stakeholders. At the crossroads of these analyses, 50 proposals emerged to sustain/bolster current efforts or to implement new initiatives. Specific improvements were recommended, e.g. about food supply quality monitoring, healthy food accessibility and affordability, physical activity promotion through land use policies, schools and childcare facilities retrofit and urban planning. Crosscutting proposals stress the importance to implement a new governmental prevention strategy and to reinforce evaluation at all levels. This call for action takes place at a critical period for political commitment and should be maintained until and after curbing the prevalence of obesity and related diseases. Although Quebec-focused, 'How can we do better?' project outcomes may be informative for other jurisdictions, and the methods may be inspiring for those interested in combining knowledge syntheses and deliberative processes to inform decision makers in a limited time frame.
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