The healthy community approach: A case study of the Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes in Nanaimo, BC
Historic land use planning practices in North America have promoted sprawled land-use development through massive suburbanization. Obesity rates and associated health risks have been increasing at an alarming rate, which has been promoted through the sedentary lifestyles that are associated with car-dependent neighborhoods. In response to these health outcomes, the Healthy Communities Movement was introduced in the 1980’s, with the primary focus of promoting inter-sectoral collaboration, at the local government level, to design communities that promote human health. Nanaimo, BC has started to take action to support healthy community planning and inter-sectoral collaboration to address health challenges. However, there are additional measures that Nanaimo can take to enhance these efforts and support them in meeting their community health policy goals. The Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes in Nanaimo, a community-based childhood obesity prevention initiative, are a case-study of the types of initiatives that can stem from a healthy community approach. The Playboxes are currently not achieving the intended outcomes due to unforeseen barriers. If the program is adapted to address these challenges, the Playboxes have the potential to be an effective inter-sectoral obesity prevention program.