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Niagara stroke program targets high school students about importance of healthy lifestyle choices

Posted Apr 15th, 2010

NIAGARA, Ontario: The reality for high school students is that the lifestyle choices they make now will contribute to their health when they are older.

With that in mind, the District Stroke Program of the Niagara Health System (NHS) is partnering with an international expert to speak with high school students in St. Catharines about making healthy lifestyle choices, with an emphasis on the importance of exercising to prevent obesity, heart attack and stroke. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last 25 years, and childhood obesity is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Members of the media are invited to attend a presentation by Dr. Robert Ross, a Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston and recognized international leader in the areas of obesity, physical activity and metabolism.

Dr. Ross will speak to 500 Grade 9 and 10 students at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in St. Catharines. The presentation will be heldTuesday, April 20, 10:20 to 11:20 a.m., at the school, located at 101 Glen Morris Drive, in St. Catharines. This presentation is one of four Dr. Ross will be doing in conjunction with the Central South Ontario Regional Stroke Program.

At Sir Winston, the students were given pedometers this week to count their steps between April 12 and 15. The student with the most steps will be announced at the event.

“This is an exciting initiative for our program as we have always targeted adult audiences,” says Connie McCallum, Nurse Practitioner with the District Stroke Program, located at the Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls. “We introduced this program in Niagara last year, and it was a big hit with the students. It is so important to target the younger population to motivate them to make healthier choices now to minimize the risk of developing chronic disease when they are older.”

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death, disability and illness in Canada.  The District Stroke Program of Niagara Health provides a variety of stroke-related services to thousands of patients across the region every year.

For more information, contact:
Caroline Bourque Wiley
Public Affairs Consultant
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System