An alarming new report from Statistics Canada reveals that almost one third of Canadian children aged 5 to 17 are considered overweight or obese.
While the number has remained relatively consistent over the past decade, health experts are concerned that so many kids are still overweight and unhealthy and want to find a solution.
“Although these estimates have not changed significantly in recent years, more data points are needed to determine if the pace of increase in prevalence is slowing, as has been observed in some countries,” the report states.
In the US, First Lady Michelle Obama has been pushing her Let’s Move campaign all over the country in hopes of encouraging children to make better lifestyle choices. She and her husband, President Barack Obama, have also made the first changes to school lunch programs in 15 years to help children make better nutritional choices for school meals.
In Canada, of the 31.5 percent of children deemed overweight or obese, 19.8 percent were classified as overweight and 11.7 percent were classified as obese. These records were taken using 2009 – 2011 data.
Furthermore, the report reveals that obesity problems are far more likely in young boys than girls. “Among children aged five to 11, the percentage of obese boys (19.5 per cent) was more than three times that of obese girls (6.3 per cent),” the agency said, though they did not reveal a specific reason for the discrepancy between the two groups.
Canada and the US have both been putting forth efforts to help children stay health including new school lunch programs, the banning of large sugary drinks in New York City and countless other health-driven initiatives over the past few years.
“Regardless, the estimates remain high and are a public health concern, given the tendency for excess weight in childhood to persist through to adulthood,” the report says.
Do you think 31.5 percent rate of overweight or obesity in Canadian children is cause for concern? And, do you think the US is doing a better job of trying to control childhood obesity compared to Canada? Sound off in the comment section below!