MONTREAL, November 11, 2015 - For the fourth edition of its Green Apple School Program, Metro is announcing that it is now putting particular focus on preventing obesity among young Quebecers. This area of focus for intervention has been especially strengthened as a result of a collaborative agreement between Metro and researchers at the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE).
Intended to encourage healthy eating habits for children, the Green Apple School Program will again award this year 1,000 grants of $1,000 to elementary and secondary schools in all four corners of Quebec. That’s a total of 1 million dollars that will allow projects aimed at increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among students to be carried out. Fruits and vegetables are known for being the foundation of a healthy diet, and promoting their consumption without moderation contributes to reducing the risk of illness and obesity.
“Several factors influence a person’s weight, including physical exercise for example, but we know that diet is the main reason for being overweight. Obesity comes with its share of consequences, be they physical, mental, social and economic. It’s a real societal problem that goes well beyond the individual,” commented Linda Montpetit, dietician and ambassador for Metro’s My Healthy Plate program.
Marie-Claude Bacon, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for Metro added: “With Green Apple School Program projects being developed in schools, Metro wants to show children that it’s simple, enjoyable and tasty to eat well, by encouraging them to adopt healthy living habits as early as possible that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
To ensure the sustainability of the new eating habits or discoveries that the Green Apple School Program projects initiate at school, they must be able to carry over to the home. To that end, Metro has developed, in collaboration with the MCCHE, more specific and strict admission criteria, including a parents-school feedback component. Project managers must also be sure to include several different activities throughout the length of their project, as well as record the consumption of fruits and vegetables before and after the project.
“The Green Apple School Program is one of the pillars of Metro’s healthy approach, which the MCCHE has helped define and with which it has collaborated since the very start. By realigning the program’s goal towards eating fruits and vegetables and by adding certain elements known to have an impact on behavioural changes, schools will be better equipped to contribute to slowing down, or even reversing that trend, in collaboration with the students’ parents,” said Dr Laurette Dubé.
According to a health survey conducted in Canadian communities, approximately one in four young Canadians between the ages of 12 and 17 was overweight or obese in 2014. When compared to 2005, the proportion of overweight children is up 19.4%. Furthermore, another study shows that children who suffer from obesity or who are overweight are likely to have the same problem as adults. It’s even more significant among children between the ages of 12 and 17.
About Green Apple School Program
Launched in 2012, Metro’s Green Apple School Program aims to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits by taking part in completing a project focusing on a healthy diet, whose scope will have a positive impact on their home, school or community. Since the program was launched, Metro and its Metro and Super C merchants have donated $3 million to elementary and secondary schools in Quebec, which has led to creating hundreds of gardens and healthy recipe books, the setting up of thousands of cooking workshops and culinary discoveries, and of course, thousands of hours of fun and learning.
With annual sales of over $11 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to satisfy their customers every day and earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
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