Source: New Zealand Government
Health Minister Dr David Clark is pleased to see a growing number New Zealanders are gaining the benefit of regular exercise and a healthy diet with the support of the Active Families programme.
The programme supports patients who have been given a “Green Prescription” by their doctor to become physically active and to eat more healthily.
A new survey has confirmed a high proportion of patients and their families are following through on their doctor’s advice with the help of Active Families.
“It’s great to see that we’re delivering nutrition and activity services to these families in a way that really works for them,” David Clark said.
“It’s particularly good to see that this is true for Māori and Pasifika whanau who make up 56 per cent of the families receiving these services.”
David Clark participated in the World Health Organisation’s Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge event last month in Geneva where he met champion long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie.
“His participation sends a powerful message about the role that physical activity can play for all people to improve their health,” David Clark said.
More than 51,000 Green Prescriptions are given to adult New Zealanders each year and a growing number of children – nearly1500 – and their families take part in the Active Families programmes.
The survey found that Active Families successfully supported families to be more physically active and to eat more healthily – rated at 85 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.
In three areas the Active Families programme rated at nearly 100 per cent – having relevant and appropriate choices; understanding the benefits of physical activity and having high quality services and support.
The survey, which is now being run every two years, has shown a steady improvement in results since it started in 2007.
One Wellington woman said the highlight of participating in Active Families was “seeing my kids healthier and happier than ever before.”
Another woman, a 23 year old from Northland, describes Active Families’ role in her journey from a girl that almost gave up on life to finding hope, coming back to live, flourish and thrive.
A Hawkes Bay man who was on crutches after a series of joint replacements attributes Active Families to playing a part in now walking each day without them. He says being active is great for the mind and body and much better than sitting round watching TV.
Each one of the stories shows how a healthier diet and regular exercise, has had benefits in each person’s life far beyond just going for a regular walk.
The latest survey and the individual stories can be read on the Ministry website.