Pathways to Wellness

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Pay attention to the wellness gap

We know that “one size fits all” programs can improve the overall health of a population, but not reduce the gap between the most and least healthy.

Sometimes, despite the best intentions, our efforts actually increase the gap.

Pay attention to wellness gap graphic

For example, many health promotion programs related to tobacco use, healthy eating and physical activity tend to have a greater impact on middle or higher income earners than on lower income earners. People who have higher incomes may be able to use their money to access services and supports that can help them make these changes. This has the unintended consequence of increasing the gap between the least and most healthy.

In order to be successful in closing the wellness gap, we need to keep the needs and life circumstances of people who face more barriers – low income families, rural residents, and First Nations people – at the forefront. This is an important way to achieve health for all.

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