One-Third of Canadian Children Overweight or Obese

By Omid Ghoreishi
Omid Ghoreishi
Omid Ghoreishi
Senior Reporter
Omid Ghoreishi is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
October 1, 2012 Updated: October 2, 2012

Almost one-third of Canadian children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to a study published by Statistics Canada

Based on data collected between 2009 and 2011, the study found that among children ages 5 to 17, 19.8 percent are overweight and 11.7 percent are obese. The study’s authors used World Health Organization cutoff values to determine the rates. 

The percentage of overweight children was similar across age groups but was unbalanced between boys and girls, with 15.1 percent of boys considered to be obese and only 8 percent of girls falling into this category. 

This unbalance was even more pronounced among 5-to-11-year-olds, with the percentage of obese boys, 19.5 percent, being three times the percentage of obese girls, 6.3 percent. 

The study’s authors say that these high rates present a public health concern, as overweight children tend to become overweight adults and are likely to have other health and social complications. 

“Excess weight in childhood has been linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, poor emotional health, and diminished social well-being,” stated the report, citing previous research in the field. 

The issue of children being overweight and obese has become more pronounced since the 1970s, the study stated, noting however that the estimates in recent years have largely remained the same.

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

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Omid Ghoreishi
Senior Reporter
Omid Ghoreishi is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.