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The problem of childhood obesity

15 Feb 2017Health Essays

CURTIS RUSH

STAFF REPORTER

The childhood obesity "epidemic" is so disturbing that today's children will become the first generation in some time to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, a new report says. Entitled Healthy Weight for Healthy Kids, the report was issued by the Commons health committee today.

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The committee said it "shares the fears of many experts who predict that today's children will be the first generation for some time to have poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

The committee noted that Canada has one of the worst rates of childhood obesity in the developed world.

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Weight problems can bring on Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, joint problems and mental health issues.

Recent data indicate that 26 per cent of Canadians aged 2-17 are overweight or obese, up from 15 per cent in 1978.

The committee heard that children continue to consume too many calories in fatty and processed foods and in sugary drinks.

The report proposed 13 recommendations, stating that to address the problem, programs that promote healthy weights for children have to be rewarding.

In addition, the committee said that interventions must take place at all levels - individual, family, community, school as well as all levels of government.

The committee also said it's important to set specific, measurable health targets.

"The committee recognizes that childhood obesity is a complex and multi-dimensional problem that must be tackled immediately," the report said.

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