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Childhood Obesity

The Facts about Childhood Obesity

Quick Facts

Childhood Obesity

  • 26% of Canadian children and youth are overweight or obese. 1
  • Childhood overweight and obesity rates have climbed from 15% in 1978/79 to 26% in 2004. 4
  • Although genetics and other factors can contribute to the likelihood of obesity, most extra weight is caused by kids eating too much high calorie food and/ or exercising too little. 5
  • Evidence suggests breastfed babies have 14 – 33% less risk of becoming obese later in life, compared to formula-fed babies. The longer babies are breastfed (up to 9 months), the lower their risk for obesity. 6

Eating Habits

  • Only 50% of Canadian Children are getting the minimum number of servings per day of vegetables and fruit. 7
  • In 2004, less than half of Peel students (49%) ate breakfast every day. That number declined to 34% by grade 12. 8
  • Sugar sweetened drinks have been linked to excess weight gain in children and teenagers. 9

Physical Activity Habits

  • Parental involvement, support, and attitudes toward physical activity are determinants of physical activity levels among children. 10
  • Children and teens with low levels of vigorous physical activity are more likely to be overweight and to have excess abdominal fat. 11

Screen Time

  • The more time children spend on screen time (video games, TV, computer) they more likely they will be obese and have low fitness levels. 12

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends no more than two hours per day of TV or leisure related screen time. 13

Kids and Dieting

  • Girls are at a greater risk of taking unhealthy measures to control their weight. 17% of female students in Peel reported skipping meals as a way to try and change their weight, and 12% reported using other methods such as purging and diet pills. 8
  • About 50% of teenage girls and 25% of teenage boys have tried dieting to change the shape of their body. 14

The Facts about Childhood Obesity | Eat Well as a Family | Be Active Together | Help Kids Feel Good | What About Dieting? | Resources | FAQs | Contact Us | Home

Revised: Monday April 20 2015


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