SAPNA & the Region of Peel Work Together to Foster Healthier Environments for South Asians

SAPNA & the Region of Peel Work Together to Foster Healthier Environments for South Asians

Inspired by SAPNA's Action Plan to Advance the Health of South Asian Canadians Report, the network is partnering with the Region of Peel to encourage dialogue and change around ‘Healthy by Design: Building environments that support health among the South Asian community.’

“SAPNA and the Region of Peel are organizing this interactive event to educate leaders in the South Asian community, the health care industry, education and government about better ways to improve the health of Canadian South Asians,” says Dr. Rav Kumar, President of SAPNA.

The joint event is timely, as the prevalence of diabetes in Peel is already high, and with current obesity trends it is projected that one in six Peel residents will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2025. Approximately 90 per cent of diagnosed cases of diabetes are Type 2, which can be prevented or delayed through regular physical activity, eating healthy foods, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

South Asians represent a major proportion of the demographic in Peel, and research suggests this population has a predisposition towards metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that occur in tandem and lead to the increased risk of diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“The current rates of chronic disease, including obesity and diabetes, are of significant concern for employees and residents, with Brampton experiencing the highest rates in Peel.”

“It’s not just about promoting healthier choices,” says Gayle Bursey, Director, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Region of Peel. “We are addressing the underlying factors that contribute to health by changing the environment to support healthy foods, active transportation, and building design that encourages physical activity.”

Peel Regional Council has provided direction to make all food sold and served in regional municipal buildings healthier and make work places more interactive for staff by promoting activities like stair use.

“With leaders from the South Asian community, SAPNA and the Region of Peel are challenging other organizations to make responsible changes that make it easier for people to be active at work and in the community,” says Dr. Rav Kumar, President of SAPNA.

At the event, guest speakers include Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel and Dr. Sonia Anand, Professor at the Department of Medicine at McMaster University.  Dr. Mowat’s presentation and talk focuses on building environments to support healthy choices and changes in the South Asian community, while Dr. Anand’s discussion and presentation centres on the field of diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and associated risk factors in South Asian health.

SAPNA, meaning “dream” in Hindi and Urdu, is a non-profit organization committed to improving the health and well-being of South Asian Canadians. SAPNA members dream of the day when South Asian Canadians are aware, empowered, motivated and supported in living longer, healthier lives.

For more information on SAPNA & the Region of Peel's upcoming event, Healthy by Design, click HERE.