If the rest of the country was as healthy as people in B.C., Canada would save billions of dollars on its health care system.
That’s from a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health which took a look at the economic burden of smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity. B.C. ranked the lowest among all provinces in 2012 and the study found that if every province were as healthy, the cost of health care could have been reduced by $5.3 billion, or 10 per cent.
Savings in Saskatchewan would be about $350 million, $620 million for Alberta, $1.74 billion in Ontario, and $1.5 billion for Quebec.
So why are people in B.C. so much healthier than those in Saskatchewan?
News Talk Radio hit the streets in Regina to see what people here think is the difference. Many blame our long, frigid winters.
“We’re stuck inside on the couch for six months of the year,” said Laurie.
“Our winters are cold and you want to pick up a pizza,” said Chaley Leib.
“The warmer climate gets people outdoors more and that may be a true fact,” explained Cindy Buhler.
Others look at the high cost of living in areas like Vancouver and say the wealthy have more money to spend on healthy food. Some believe people in B.C. may just have a happier, healthier outlook on life. It also has tall mountains which include lots of terrain for exercise.
Don Johnston doesn’t buy it and said the snow is no excuse to be lazy.
“There’s lots to do in the winter, absolutely. I’m out every day.”
When asked on the street if Saskatchewan had an extra $350 million to spend for being more healthy, several said they would put it right back into health care.
“Disease strikes people that are healthy too,” said Nicole Cherewayko.
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