News Release: Health Unit and Partners Expand Access to Classes and Free Resources for Nutrition Month
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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 1:30 p.m. | Windsor and Essex County
March is National Nutrition Month and this year, Dietitians across Canada are calling on Canadians to unlock the potential of food by finding a dietitian.
Understanding nutrition and developing food skills can be intimidating for many, but eating well doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your favourite foods. This March, the health unit is encouraging all residents of Windsor and Essex County to learn more about nutrition and add in whole foods wherever they can.
According to Heather Nadon, Registered Dietitian at the WECHU, “Consuming a variety of whole foods is known to improve overall health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer. In addition to physical health, eating well also improves mental well-being, and food brings people together in every culture through fostering a sense of belonging.” Despite these benefits, only one-third of Windsor-Essex residents report eating enough vegetables and fruit, and more than 10% of local households report not having enough money to consistently buy food. Factors such as having the knowledge and skills to prepare food, access to affordable food, social isolation, and an abundance of misinformation about diet play a role in how people of all ages meet their nutritional needs.
Registered Dietitians work in a variety of settings like community health centres, family health teams, and public health, to support individuals and families to better understand complex information about nutrition and food. Community dietitians have created a variety of free programs for residents to learn the value of food skills and eating well. Eat4Life is a free group program offered throughout Windsor-Essex County and since 2016, these classes have reached over 430 residents. In addition, the You Can Cook virtual food skills series has been viewed over 6,400 times and is another free resource where people can learn how to prepare simple meals in 5 minutes or less.
Utilizing these supports can help to equip residents with the knowledge to use nutrition to prevent and manage chronic diseases, dismantle the harmful messages of diet culture, navigate the food aisles at the grocery store, shop on a budget, and to plan and prepare simple meals with available ingredients. Community members interested in learning more about how to register for classes and accessing the other available free resources can visit https://www.wechu.org/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.