The Fit City: Five Days, Five Ideas (part 4)

Had an interesting time at the Fit City/Fat City dialogue the other week. As a result of the event and suddenly realizing that it’s the 5 year anniversary of Building Up (the Canada25 report on cities) I thought I would dedicate this week’s posts to public policy ideas for creating healthy cities.

Idea #4: Forget Dine Out Vancouver, try Dine Smart Vancouver

Canadians, and particularly young Canadians, are eating more and more meals away from home. StatsCan notes that Canadian households spent an average of $1,487 on restaurant food in 2003, a 27% increase from 1997. Moreover that amount was almost double what was spent in 1990.

A healthy city thus needs healthy restaurants. So why not promote healthy eating while eating out? For example, like many cities Vancouver has a program to promote city restaurants called Dine Out Vancouver. During Dine Out Vancouver you can make reservations to have 3 course meal set menu dinners at a discounted rate. So why not do the same thing but with a focus on healthy food choices? A Dine Smart Vancouver could give restaurants an opportunity to highlight how healthy they can be. In a society looking to diet, but also keen to eat out (be it for pleasure or to save time) such a program might help build awareness and promote healthy eating.

2 thoughts on “The Fit City: Five Days, Five Ideas (part 4)

  1. Alison

    Great idea! For additional inspiration, you can check out a similar program in Ontario called Eat Smart (

    Although I’ve lived in Toronto for 6 years, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed the program here. However, in my hometown of St.Catharines, ON, there is strong signage and promotion of their Eat Smart program through the Public Health Department of Niagara (



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