Entrepreneur, Pharmacist and Politician- Norm Talks about Food and Participation

Norm is a father of two, a pharmacist, an entrepreneur and a municipal politician. I felt that his opinion was necessary for my project because his experience is expansive.
He is a well-respected member of the community who gives back in many ways. He has a firm understanding of healthcare needs, politics and client care.
Norm Pharmacist Food Nutrition
Norm believes that balance is important in the provision of sports, recreation, arts and cultural opportunities for his community. He chose his role in municipal politics to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Whitecourt through effective planning, responsible economics and effective partnerships.

What does your day to day breakfast look like Norm?
I have cream of wheat with berries and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

If you could have any breakfast in the world what would it be?
Bacon, eggs and pancakes.
Not waffles?
No, not waffles. Pancakes with blueberries.

In your opinion what are the biggest barriers to healthy eating we’re facing as a population today?
One of the largest barriers that our population faces is the corporate marketing of unhealthy products. These products are attractively advertised to children, typically perpetuated within the school systems often through vending machines and convenience foods.

Do you think we should be restricting the marketing of food and beverages to children and youth?
I think we should be limiting advertising to children but more specifically I think we should take an active role in the community [and schools] to reduce and remove those types of products [including pops] from the environment. I think a significant difference can be made in schools and communities by taking a stand to remove the inventory.

If you could tell the general public one message about food, nutrition or health what would you say?
I think the most significant thing I’d like people to know is that your health is in your hands to control. Each person needs to have an active level of participation in your own healthcare and your quality of life.
That ranges from the choices you make with consumption of food, types of food you eat, the level of exercise you participate in as well as your involvement and knowledge of your own body and health care treatment.
This means you need to be an active participant in collaboration with your healthcare team which could be your doctor, pharmacist, nurse, dietitian etc. You need to participate, for example, a person who has diabetes may have to participate more but everyone needs to participate on a level.

That makes sense, you have to commit to yourself. If you could sit down to a meal with anyone, who would it be?
My grandfather came to my mind first. I’d like to sit and have a meal with him, he’ someone I lost when I was young and I only have a few memories but they are very good memories.

If you were going to be stuck on an island for months and you could bring an unlimited supply of 4 foods, what would they be?
I think I’d choose chicken for a protein, rice and I’d probably have to have chocolate. I’d bring beans too.

What is your favorite food that people may consider unhealthy?

A nice steak dinner with butter. Some people think beef [or beef in excess] is unhealthy.

Do you think one person can make a difference in public health policy change?
I think one person can make a difference in health policy because an idea has to start somewhere. The concept of one person is the inception: by sharing ideas and imparting information to bring about the change in the mentality of others that influence policy.
So I think one person can influence change because it has to start with one person.

Norm Whitecourt Town Council Deputy Mayor

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