New report explores how everyday choices influence health of New Brunswickers

47,000 people with doctors rely on ERs instead, health council says

A new report by the New Brunswick Health Council examines how everyday decisions affect well-being.

The 2017 edition of My Community at a Glance includes data on factors influencing health, such as obesity, alcohol and lottery sales and how much sleep people are getting, as well as health outcomes for 33 communities.

The online report allows people to download information about their city or town and compare it with others in a bid to empower and inspire them to make changes in their habits, said CEO Stéphane Robichaud.

"It tends to really shift the conversation toward factors that can influence healthy behaviours in a community, and therefore have an impact on the health of the population," he said.

While many people tend to associate health care with hospitals and doctors, that's not the full picture, said Robichaud.

"Health services account for only 10 per cent of what influences the health of a population," he said. "Ninety per cent is behaviours, socio-economic factors, and environmental factors, and they all speak to items that you can have a major influence on at a community level."

The annual report is based on the 14,000 responses the council received to its 2011 primary health survey, along with other local sources of data and data from Statistics Canada.

For the first time this year, the report includes data on youth sexual orientation, green habits, mental health hospitalization and memory problems in adults.

My Community at a Glance is available at