It probably came as no shock to most Islanders that we are an unhealthy lot.
Friday, the province‚Äôs chief health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, along with Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie summed up the results of the latest health trends report for the province and the prognosis wasn‚Äôt good.
Islanders are less active, overweight, suffer from more chronic conditions and drink more than any other Canadians.
Simply put, the majority of the province‚Äôs population is unhealthy.
The Chief Public Health Officer‚Äôs Report, the second of its kind ‚Äď the last of which was released two years ago ‚ÄĒ paints a pretty grim picture of the overall health of Islanders.
Sixty per cent of us over the age of 18 are overweight or obese. Less than a third of us consume Canada‚Äôs Food Guide‚Äôs recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. A quarter of us are heavy drinkers. And, in a largely rural province where agriculture and fishing are primary industries, most shocking is that half of us are inactive.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and more and more people aged 35 to 45 are developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes.
So, what can be done?
The answer, it would seem, is relatively simple ‚ÄĒ eat right, get up and get active.
In this largely agricultural province, where there is a bounty of fruit and vegetables grown for market, there is little if no excuse as to why we aren‚Äôt eating right.
Instead of opting for a deep fried or sugary treat, we all should be supporting our local farmers while ensuring our own health by buying and snacking on fruits and vegetables.
And there is no excuse for being inactive.
With the majority of Islanders living in rural communities, where one can easily hit the red dirt for a 30-minutes stroll, there is no reason why each and every one of us who are mobile can‚Äôt get up off the couch, push away that television remote or laptop, and literally take the steps on the road to better health.
Yes, our society is fast-paced, with so many things pulling each and every one of us in all directions, from children and their various activities, work and other commitments. But that shouldn‚Äôt be an excuse not to eat right or get active.
We all need to make a conscious choice to take better care of ourselves in order to live a healthier and longer life.
If we don‚Äôt, that life that we work so hard to enjoy likely will be much shorter.