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Canada's first wellness rewards program launches in BC - New online app to reward users' healthy behaviour with popular loyalty points
March 3, 2016
Public Health Agency of Canada
BC residents who are making an effort to lead healthier lifestyles can now be rewarded with loyalty points such as Aeroplan, PetroPoints, Scene and MoreRewards, thanks to an innovative new mobile app called Carrot Rewards.
The app, available first to BC residents, was launched today by Kamal Khera, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Terry Lake, Minister of Health for British Columbia, and Andreas Souvaliotis, Founder and CEO of Social Change Rewards, at an event at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC. Four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield also joined the event to share his support for the initiative.
More Canadians than ever are living with chronic diseases, with four out of five at risk of developing diseases, such as cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Carrot Rewards provides users with incentives to increase their physical activity, eat better and quit smoking, with the goal of encouraging healthy lifestyle habits that help reduce the risks of developing a chronic disease.
Users across the province who sign up for Carrot Rewards will be able to earn their choice of leading, brand-name loyalty points for completing activities centred on making healthier lifestyle choices. This can include anything from completing a health profile, to participating in learning activities and quizzes, and in later phases will include activities like going to the gym, visiting a flu clinic, or buying produce from the grocery store. The app is also designed to link up with wearable devices in later stages to track and reward healthy behaviour.
Carrot Rewards is delivered through a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, the BC Ministry of Health, Social Change Rewards, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association, and YMCA Canada. The app works on smartphones and is available free of charge on iTunes and Google Play, or by visiting http://www.carrotrewards.ca.
- The Government of Canada is investing $5 million in this project, and the Government of British Columbia has provided $2.5 million to the Canadian Cancer Society to work with the British Columbia Healthy Living Alliance to support the program in British Columbia. With funding from the private sector and other partners, this represents a total investment of over $15 million.
- This is one of many partnerships made under the Government of Canada's Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease program, which invests $20 million per year in innovative projects and partnerships that focus on addressing common risk factors, such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and smoking, to prevent chronic disease.
- Carrot is another motivational tool British Columbians can use, supported by the Healthy Families BC strategy, which focuses on improving the health and wellness of citizens through programs aimed at decreasing tobacco use, increasing opportunities for physical activity, supporting healthy eating, and promoting healthy weights.
- In the next five years, Carrot Rewards is expected to expand to interested provinces and territories to reach millions of Canadians, encouraging them to participate in a variety of healthy living interventions that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
"Canadians know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and healthy eating, plays an important role in their health, well-being and quality of life. Sometimes we just need an extra nudge to make the healthier choice. With so many of us using technology in our everyday lives, the Carrot Rewards app provides the extra incentive and motivation to make healthier decisions. I'm proud of our work with the Government of British Columbia, Social Change Rewards and other partners in delivering this innovative new app that will encourage more BC residents to take charge of their health."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health
"By promoting physical fitness and providing tips and information on how to make healthier choices, we're helping British Columbians to make their health a priority. B.C. is proud to be the first province to launch Carrot Rewards, and we soon hope to see the rest of Canada following in our footsteps."
Honourable Terry Lake
Minister of Health, Government of British Columbia
"The creation of Carrot involved a series of remarkable breakthroughs, originally led by our federal and BC government agencies and ultimately supported by a culture of positive collaboration from our country's leading loyalty points providers and health NGOs. The members of this uniquely powerful and unprecedented coalition have truly reinvented the path to a healthier Canada."
Founder & CEO, Social Change Rewards
"YMCA Canada views this partnership as a tremendous opportunity to reach even more Canadians with our message about the importance of active, healthy living. We are delighted to join our health partners and Social Change Rewards in this innovative approach to rewarding healthy lifestyles."
Laura Palmer-Korn, Acting President and CEO of YMCA Canada
"We are proud to participate in this world-first initiative. This new platform is an incredibly innovative approach to health promotion. It will have a tangible impact on the health of Canadians, and aligns with our mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery."
David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation
"We are pleased to be a founding partner in what is truly an innovative approach to improving the health and wellness of Canadians."
Rick Blickstead, President and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association
"BC Healthy Living Alliance is pleased to be a partner with Carrot Rewards. Providing trusted health information, rewarded with loyalty points is a new and innovative way to support the healthy living choices that prevent chronic disease."
Scott McDonald, BC Healthy Living Alliance Chair and CEO, BC Lung Association
- Carrot Rewards
- Government of British Columbia
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Canadian Diabetes Association
- YMCA Canada
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Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations Manager
B.C. Ministry of Health250 952-1887 (media line)
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