This November, the University of British Columbia’s Be Well at Work project held two Fall Food Tasting events at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The Fall Food Tasting events included healthy cooking demonstrations, recipes and tastings to celebrate employees’ participation in Be Well at Work, a project in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health and the Canadian Cancer Society British Columbia and Yukon, with funding from the Canadian Cancer Society.
The project focuses on decreasing employees’ cancer risk through increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, boosting physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Being healthy at work is more important than ever. In 2004, Health Canada reported that 67 per cent of adults spend more than 60 per cent of their time at the worksite. The workplace has become a key location to encourage healthy practices and to reduce cancer risk— 1/3 of cancer cases can be averted through appropriate diet, physical activity and weight control.
Carolyn Gotay is the project’s Principal Investigator. She is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and she holds the Canadian Cancer Society Chair in Cancer Primary Prevention. “Unhealthy eating, inactivity and obesity are leading causes of cancer, but these factors are preventable,” Gotay comments. “By promoting healthy behaviour at work, we will help people reverse their cancer risks.”
Be Well at Work program participants were invited to the Fall Food Tasting events. On November 17, UBC employees took part in a healthy snacks workshop with Health and Exercise Sciences Instructor Sally Willis-Stewart and registered dietician Casey Hamilton, followed by recipes and samples. On November 25th, local chef Ricardo Scebba from Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen demonstrated his approach to healthy cooking and provided samples to participants. After completing the program questionnaire, all Be Well at Work participants will be eligible to win a fifty dollar gift certificate to Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen.
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