Childhood Obesity, Activity and Health

The Problem:

  • Global rates of childhood obesity have increased 5 times over the past decade.
  • Canadian rates of obesity for both boys and girls have doubled over the past 15 years.
  • Over 1 in 4 children in Canada is overweight or obese.
  • 80% of overweight or obese children may remain overweight or obese into adulthood.
  • The persistence of childhood overweight and obesity into adulthood significantly increases the risks of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The Causes:

  • The basic cause of obesity: Body fat is stored when the amount of calories consumed exceeds those that are expended (through basic metabolism combined with activity).
  • The overall causes of obesity: Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, sedentary lifestyles, and/or genetics.
  • Only 9% of boys and 4% of girls meet the daily requirements of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity per day.
  • Children and youth average over 40 hours of screen time per week.
  • 3 out of 5 youth under 17 need to make serious lifestyle changes and adopt more “active habits” in order to encourage optimal growth and development.

The Solutions:

  • A balance in intake and output is required to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Ensuring balance through physical activity and healthy eating, supported by media literacy.