Childhood Obesity In Canada

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Childhood obesity in Canada has become an epidemic. In 2015, a study showed that one-third of Canadian children (31.5%) are obese and the number of obese children worldwide is 42 million. (Peirson et al., 2015) The rates of childhood obesity continue to rise steadily in Canada and worldwide each year. Childhood obesity puts children at significant risk for many health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or asthma, however, a range of psychosocial consequences such as self-esteem, peer relationships and quality of life also play a huge role in childhood obesity. As a consequence, obese children are stereotyped and stigmatized as being unhygienic and lazy. Canada has a wide range of intervention programs already put in…show more content…
A local London program is the Healthy Eating and Activity Program which supports overweight or obese children and their families. The program offers physical activity programs and nutritional knowledge to children and their parents. Another step that Canada has taken is putting in new nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in schools. The nutrition standards make it easy to determine which foods can and cannot be sold in schools. Candy, energy drinks and fried foods are among the items that are no longer sold in schools. Overall, these childhood obesity treatment efforts are modest and efficient in helping children become more active and having healthier eating habits. These programs have been successful in decreasing childhood obesity; however, more focus could be put on the psychosocial factors of childhood obesity. To combat this issue, an understanding of the psychosocial factors that affect obese children is needed. To evaluate the effectiveness of these intervention programs, the following criteria should be achievable: how accessible is the intervention programs and will the program decrease the psychosocial factors of childhood…show more content…
The Government of Canada does its part by promoting healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight but with less focus on the psychosocial factors of childhood obesity. The focus on childhood obesity prevention has to change; an alternative approach, Healthy Eating and Activity program was piloted in London Ontario and has improved the psychosocial factors that obese children face. This intervention programs approach deals with the psychosocial factors that obese children face and promote positive mental health by accepting children for who they are. In addition, schools have taken steps in the right direction to preventing childhood obesity by providing healthier lunch options but their focus on psychosocial factors have fallen short. Of the children affected by these factors only 17% of children seek help through limited services that may not match their needs. (Rodger et al., 2014) In British Columbia, they have implemented a new education curriculum called Action Schools. This approach helps children learn to cope and manage psychosocial factors that affect them within a school setting. Programs such as Healthy Eating and Activity program and Action School should be considered to reduce the psychosocial factors that affect obese
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