It is no secret that excess weight and poor diet are linked to a number of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. We also know that people who live with a mood disorder, schizophrenia or other mental health problems are more likely to struggle with metabolic disturbances than the general population. Food insecurity, inactivity, social isolation and some psychotropic medications can all affect weight. Chronic disease prevention and management programs can help to reduce the risk of developing a chronic illness or reduce the impact if one already exists.
Chronic Disease Resources
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario: Healthy Living
This resource provides information that is Canadian, current and based on scientific evidence and guidelines. Learn how to integrate healthy eating, regular physical activity and other healthy habits into your life and make heart-healthy choices that will help you lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Many resources are available as downloadable PDFs.
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- My Healthy Weight Action Plan
- Family Health
- All Healthy Living Resources
Canadian Diabetes Association
Good nutrition and healthy meal planning are vital components of diabetes management. Recognizing the challenges involved in nutrition and diabetes, the Canadian Diabetes Association offers a full breadth of resources and information, including guides, tools, resources and manuals. Detailed information is provided on special topics such as carbohydrate counting, alcohol, sugars and sweeteners, portion sizes, the Glycemic Index and more.
Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a workshop given over two-and-a-half hours, once a week, for six weeks, in community settings such as community centres, places of worship, libraries and hospitals. People with different chronic health problems attend together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic disease themselves – thus enhancing the peer support model. This program must be licensed through the Stanford University School of Medicine. A bilingual version of the Stanford program is available from McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. In Ontario, over 65 sites have staff that have been trained and accredited to deliver the skills development and behaviour change program.