A message from Canada's Chief Public Health Officer
Health is fundamental to our quality of life and to Canada's prosperity in the world. I think most Canadians would agree that their health and the health of their loved ones is what matters most to them.
Using a collection of health indicators to monitor the health status of a population helps us understand areas where we are doing well and those areas where we can improve. This report tells us Canadians are experiencing good health on a number of measures - almost 90 percent of Canadians reported having good to excellent health. If you feelhealthy, then you likely are healthy. Canada's average life expectancy of 82 years ranks us as among the healthiest nations in the world. A long life-expectancy reflects well on many social and environmental factors in Canada that influence our health.
There are some worrisome trends. Over a relatively short period of time, the proportion of Canadians living with diabetes has almost doubled from 6% in 2000 to 10% in 2011. This is a concern as we know that more Canadians living with type 2 diabetes is linked to a higher proportion of people with an unhealthy diet, low physical activity and higher rates of overweight and obesity - which are all associated with higher rates of other diseases and conditions.
In addition, some Canadians are not as healthy as others or are at higher risk for poor health outcomes.
In 2008/2010, more than half of First Nations households on reserve reported not having access to enough safe, affordable and nutritious food;
In 2011, almost a third of women single-parent households reported living in housing that was not adequate, not affordable and/or not suitable;
Between 1991 and 2006, men in the lowest income group died of cancer at a rate more than double that of women in the highest income group; and,
In 2014, the rate of new or retreatment cases of tuberculosis was almost 50 times higher in the Inuit population than in the Canadian population overall.
This snapshot is a useful tool to help bring us closer to narrowing health gaps in Canada and preventing illness in the most vulnerable.
Ultimately, my hope is that this report provides a glimpse to all Canadians about the health of our country while illustrating how many different factors interact to makes us healthy.