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Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 6, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba A3 SATURDAY, JULY 6, 2002 Local GOT A NEWS TIP? You can reach us at 571-7430 or toll-free 1-877-786-5786 E-mail: opinion(a brandonsun.com Obesity statistics cause for concern City struggles with booze, staying away from tobacco COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN Volunteer Lynda Wood (seated, left) chats with Fairview Homes resident Jean Turner on a sunny Tuesday afternoon along 13th Street. Better health-care access key to Brandon numbers By Curtis Brown Brandon Sun Every day, Tannis Hay sees people making an effort to live a healthier life. But when she leaves her job at the YMCA and walks around Brandon, she notices that many people could be doing a much better job of staying active. “I think a lot of people should be more health-conscious,” says Hay, one of the YMCA’s front-desk receptionists. A Statistics Canada study finds that 18 per cent of people living in the Brandon Regional Health District are obese, compared to 15 per cent across Canada. That compares with 22 per cent in Marquette region and 17 per cent in South Westman. Hay notices some people are coming in trying to shed excess weight. But they’re the minority in the health club. “We’ve had a few heavier people come in, but those are the ones that have had a few health concerns,” she says. “Some have made progress, though. We had one gentleman who joined in October who’s already lost IOO pounds.” Obesity is measured using a body mass index (BMI), which calculates the ideal amount of weight a person should Cary based on their height. Sharon Young, the health promotion facilitator for the Brandon Regional Health District, says that fighting obesity is something all people need to be concerned with. “The responsibility of health promotion doesn’t belong to one person or one group. It’s everyone’s responsibility,” she says. And if children are obese, she says, it’s going to lead to even more problems in the future. “If you’re obese when you’re a child, it’s going to be even harder to change that when you’re an adult.” By Curtis Brown Brandon Sun There’s little disagreement that better access to health care might be one reason Brandomtes live longer on average than their rural neighbours. A Statistics Canada health study finds that people living in the Brandon Regional Health District live to an average age of 79.3 years, almost two years longer than people in the Marquette and South Westman health regions. Derek Kindrat, executive director of Lions Manor in Brandon, guesses that as many as 50 per cent of the residents in the senior complex come from a rural community. “I would say that if they’re coming from a smaller community, they’re coming because they don’t have access to the same services as here in Brandon,” he says. The StatsCan survey found that people living in the Marquette health region lived to '7 would say that if they’re coming from a smaller community, they’re coming because they don’t have access to the same services as here in Brandon.” LIONS MANOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEREK KINDRAT an average age of ll .9 years, while those in South Westman are living to ll.2 years of age. The average Canadian lives to be 78.3 years old. Phil Horkey, the co-ordina-tor for resident services at Rideau Park Manor, says better health care is one reason for rural people to move to the Wheat City. But he also points out that many residents come to the city because relatives already living in Brandon want to be closer to them. “Sometimes, it’s a family choice. The person may have sons or daughters that live in Brandon, and it’s easier for the family to visit them,” he says. Debbie Clevett realizes that rural seniors want to access Brandon’s health-care facilities. The vice-president of programs and services for the Assiniboine Regional Health District — the new name for the recently-amalgamated Marquette and South Westman regions — sees this shift as a sign of the times. “We’re seeing the depopulation of the rural areas for sure. Farms used to be smaller and people used to be closer to their neighbours, and now they’re further apart as farms are larger,” she says. “Basically in urban areas, more people have more access to health services. That’s why they’re going there.” By Curtis Brown Brandon Sun Brandon is battling the bottle. The message from a Statistics Canada study of national health doesn’t surprise Dave Hyra. “I see a lot of people who drink fairly heavily,” says Hyra, a clerk at The Beer Warehouse. Statistics Canada’s study finds that 25 per cent of adults living in the Brandon Regional Health Authority area drink heavily. A heavy drinker is defined as a person who consumes five or more drinks during one sitting at least once a month. In the neighbouring Marquette and South Westman health regions, the figures were slightly lower. Only 19 per cent of people in Marquette are reported to be heavy drinkers, and in South Westman, that figure is 17 per cent. The national average is 16 per cent. Hyra, an employee at the beer store for three years, says he sees a lot of the same people buying beer regularly. “There’s some people we see in here all the time. Some guys we see every day.” Doug Verhaegue, the beverage manager at the Canadian Inn, doesn’t believe people in Brandon drink any heavier than anywhere else he’s been. “I’ve lived in Edmonton and Calgary, and I would say that people here don’t drink any more than people out there do,” he says. “I’d say the average person in the bar maybe drinks two drinks a night.” However, he does notice the odd person coming to the beer vendor from a house party will have consumed a bit more than those in the bar. “Yeah, you get a few of them in here who can barely stand by the end of the night.” While people in Westman may drink more than the average Canadian, they appear to smoke less. Both Brandon and its two neighbouring health districts had lower percentages of people who smoke daily than the rest of the country. The national figure was 22 percent, compared to 21 per cent in Brandon, 18 per cent in Marquette, and 17 per cent in South Westman. Arlene Droffin Jones of the Manitoba Lung Association believes one reason for that may be Brandon’s smoking bylaw, which will ban smoking in all public places after Sept. I. “You guys are showing us the way,” she says, adding that higher cigarette taxes may contribute to the drop in smoking. In Brief Police investigate break-in Electronic equipment and food were among the items stolen due mg a break-in to a downtown Brandon home Wednesday. Police report a Toshiba television and 21 videotapes along with some groceries were taken from a suite in the 500 block of Louise Avenue between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The value of the stolen items is estimated to be $365. Brandon Sun Chris Dubnick (left), owner/operator of Brandon’s Bonanza restaurant, gives a gift certificate to customer Carl Johnston yesterday afternoon. Dubnick is resorting to more aggressive marketing to combat the disruption from street repairs on 18th Street. Restaurateur makes most of roadwork By Kyia Duncan Brandon Sun Chris Dubnick is going out on a limb to tempt customers beyond street construction and into his restaurant. The owner-operator of Bonanza Restaurant on 18th Street says he is trying to turn his frustration and worry over lack of business into good business. “We have taken a little bit of a hit, which has forced me to make a decision on how I’m going to market the restaurant with the construction going on,” Dubnick says. Dubnick’s solution is unique. He has been going out himself and inviting people in, giving out the occasional gift certificate and discounting since construction crews situated themselves in front of his restaurant last month. “I’m trying to treat this situation as a positive. Sometimes you run into crossroads and you have to make the best of it,” Dubnick says. “Sometimes you have to step it up and do a lit- tip PYtra to apt thp nprrnlp in bprp ” started ripping up 18th Street. “You can see the expression on the drivers’ faces. They’re distraught, they’re upset and they’re thinking if it takes this long to get to Bonanza why not just go through drive-through and take the stuff home.” Dubnick says because crews are right in front of his business, most are unsure if it’s accessible. “When you’ve got all the trucks sitting in front,” he says, the customers “don’t know if they can turn in or not.” Construction crews are keeping open access to all businesses on 18th Street. Most businesses are also accessible, like Dubnick’s, by back lanes or alternate routes. Dubnick is hoping the extra incentives to battle the construction and eat at his restaurant will pay off. “I’ve even gone out and told the construction workers if they come in we’ll give them IO per cent off. If they come in with their families, we’ll give them IO per cent off,” Dubnick says. He says business is down about three per cent since crews doors.’ *(LVn Vn VVC IC pc up COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN 2.2L, Ecotec, 4 cyl, 4 speed, automatic transmission, 4 wheel anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt, AM/FM CD Player, Power Locks and more! 3.4L V6.185Hp. 4 speed Automatic transmission. 4 wheel anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, standard integral childseat power locks, tilt wheel. AM/FM CD Stereo, dual sliding doors. 7 passenger seating with flip and fold removable seats and more! SHOP WEEKDAY EVENINGS TILL 8PM 3IL V6 170 Hp, 4 speed, Automatic transmission. 4 wheel anti-lock brakes Air conditioning. 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