Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%

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boyjumpingropeFrom Your Health Journal…..”I read an interesting article I wanted to promote written by Carol Mulligan of Sudbury Star entitled Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%. In a Canadian suburb called Sudbury – politicians, groups, and individuals are being asked to work together to reduce childhood obesity by 20% in the next five years. Looking at the feedback from the article already, not much sympathy as one individual did not want to see limited tax money being used on this, while another said simply allow your kids to go outside to play more! But, it is not always that simple. Childhood obesity is on the rise all over the world as well as illness associated it such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, weak joints, and type 2 diabetes. Change is needed, as well as education of both parent and child. Please visit the Sudbury Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

The Sudbury and District Health Unit has given itself a B on a report card rating its performance in three key areas to reduce the number of overweight and obese children.

The health unit’s medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, was a member of the Healthy Kids Panel, which released a report in March called “No Time to Wait,” with 23 recommendations to tackle childhood obesity.

The unit gave itself an A for creating healthy communities, a B for offering programs and services to start children on the path to health and a C+ when it comes to changing the food environment.

While the report was commissioned by government, the panel doesn’t intend to wait for the province to act to address childhood obesity.

The health unit presented its report card Thursday to the Sudbury and District Board of Health, and sought its support to get working on the challenge.

The board passed a motion asking for the SDHU to be named one of 10 pilot communities in which a program will be tested to reduce childhood obesity.

Sudbury has higher than average rates of childhood obesity, with about 29% of children aged 12-17 overweight or obese versus the provincial 21%.

Obesity rates are higher among boys than girls, and among aboriginal children.

The health unit will aim to reverse the trajectory of obesity rates steadily increasing over 30 years. That could be because we are eating calories equivalent to an extra meal a day, registered dietitian Leslie Andrade told the board.

Obesity affects children’s mental, physical and emotional health, said Andrade, and requires urgent and immediate reaction.

The Healthy Kids Panel identified a three-pronged approach and it was those measures against which the SDHU measured itself.

The SDHU has adopted a balanced approach philosophy it aims to integrate into its healthy weights, healthy eating and active living programs.

That philosophy acknowledges the importance of eating well, being active and having positive self-esteem, said Andrade.

“If someone has a low self-esteem, the evidence does show they’re more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours that can lead to overweight and obesity,” said Andrade.

To read the complete article…..Click here

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