B.C. Southern Interior children’s health under study

A new study aims to see if the physical and emotional health issues of youth in Kelowna reflect national trends.

  • Nov. 25, 2016 5:00 a.m.

A new partnership established by UBC researchers may lead to a more targeted approach to children’s health and well-being, and the specific health risks children face in the Southern Interior.

Paediatric exercise physiologist Ali McManus, along with Lesley Lutes, a registered clinical psychologist, a health psychologist, and a UBC associate professor of psychology, will lead a pioneering, two-year, research and outreach project investigating the health and wellness status of children and adolescents in Kelowna.

Their goal is to eventually create a scalable, evidence-based health and wellness index for Kelowna children and youth.

The project, made possible by Tree of Hope with $100,000 in funding from both TD Bank Group and Landmark Centre, will launch in the new year.

“By identifying the health and wellness needs of young people in Kelowna, we will provide the stimulus for the development and delivery of future targeted health and wellness initiatives,” said McManus, an associate professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC Okanagan. “Most importantly, this health and wellness screening tool will act as a long-term evaluation system of future health and wellness initiatives.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are a number of health issues affecting Canadian children, including obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The study will also look at psycho-social indicators of health such as levels of anxiety experienced by study participants.

“We are grateful to TD and the Landmark Centre for their support of this research and for helping us move towards addressing some important issues in children’s health.”

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