Thursday, September 20, 2012

31% of Canadian kids are overweight or obese

Almost a third of Canadians aged five to 17 are overweight or obese, Statistics Canada finds.

The prevalence of overweight and obese Canadian children hasn't increased over the past decade, but the agency said Thursday that it remains a public health concern.

Using World Health Organization standards of measurement, 31.5 per cent of five- to 17-year-olds — an estimated 1.6 million Canadians — were classified as overweight (19.8 per cent) or obese (11.7 per cent) in 2009 to 2011.

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.

"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 concludes.

"Regardless, the estimates remain high and are a public health concern, given the tendency for excess weight in childhood to persist through to adulthood." more