Canada's childhood obesity rate ranked fifth worldwide

April 27, 2005 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Canada's childhood obesity rate ranked fifth worldwide

Recent Canadian research of more than 160,000 children in 34 countries shows that Canadian children currently rank among the heaviest in the world. Researchers at Queen’s University found nearly one in five Canadian children are overweight, ranking fourth in the world. The only other countries that ranked higher were Malta, the United States and England. More than four percent of Canadian children were found to be obese, ranking fifth among all other countries.

In more than three-quarters of the countries that took part in the study, at least ten percent of the youth were overweight, leading researchers to conclude that the adolescent obesity epidemic is a global one. Researchers attribute these alarming numbers to a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity levels were lower and television viewing times higher in overweight children compared to normal-weight children.

This study used the body-mass index to determine if participants were overweight. A BMI higher than 25 was considered overweight, while those over 30 were classified as obese.

Researchers conclude that physical activity is a critical component of addressing the current obesity epidemic and suggest physical activity interventions be an integral part of health campaigns.

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