A new app from the federal government will reward Canadians with various types of cashable points for living a more healthy lifestyle. The Carrot Rewards app will give Canadians new incentives to stay active and live healthier lifestyles when it is unveiled in the fall. Alan Carter has the story.

The federal government is unveiling a new app in the fall that will reward Canadians for making healthier lifestyle decisions.

The “Carrot Rewards” app aims to push Canadians to eat better, exercise more and live healthier lives, by rewarding them with various types of points.

“Canada is the first country in the world to create a national app, a national mobile platform for rewarding its citizens for healthier lives,” said Andreas Souvaliotis, Founder and CEO of Social Change Rewards, which is marketing the app for the government.

“The most important thing we can do in order to reduce our healthcare costs is to encourage Canadians to live healthier lives and the only way we’ve been able to do it until now as a nation is through advertising.”

Souvaliotis said the app is a more targeted of way of spreading a healthier message, while also cashing in on Canadians’ love for reward points programs.

The app was launched last week by Federal Minister of Health Rona Ambrose and the government is investing $5 million in the project, with the government of B.C. providing an additional $2.5 million.

The government is also partnering with Social Change Rewards, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and YMCA Canada to create the app, which will be launched first in British Columbia this fall, and then will expand to other provinces and territories.

Laura Rosella, a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said the app could help Canadians get healthier but the ones who need it most might not be the most likely to use it.

“We know from other health apps that exist, it tends to be people who are already interested in their health. They are more likely to make behavioural changes or have already,” she said.