Last week in my local paper there was a good editorial by Chris Cochrane concerning the Nova Scotia government's committment to youth health and fitness. Cochrane is the Herald's front-page sports columnist and writes most days about the biggest game in town — university football or the Halifax Mooseheads. Living in a town without a major professional franchise means that amateur sport gets better coverage than it does in bigger cities. Still, it's unusual (and refreshing) to see a keynote columnist addressing public health on the front of the sports section.
Some more positive local news emerged last week on the public health front, as a study found that students at certain Nova Scotia schools were significantly less obese than their contemporaries. Those schools were participating in a project, partially funded by Health Canada, that encouraged healthy eating and physical activity. This is welcome news indeed amid the doom-and-gloom about the poor physical health of our youth. You can read about the policies in this 2002 document.
Of course, you win some, you lose some. Offseting the good work done by the fat-fighting schools, certain high schools in the same region still have designated on-campus smoking areas for students, despite the fact that tobacco possession is against the law for anybody under the age of 19.