Thursday, March 29, 2007

Canada's Plan to Combat Childhood Obesity

Looking at the report that was released earlier this week by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, I'm saddened by their lack of real action.

They rile up the public with statements, true statements, like 1 in 4 Canadian children are obese and that it's predicted that this current generation of children won't outlive their parents, but then when it comes down to their recommendations, to rate them generously would be to call them cautious.

I'll summarize them all below, but first a quick story.

My wife was watching Global news and saw that a report was going to come out about the Committee's recommendations so she taped it for me to watch when I got home from work. Immediately prior to the start of the report was a commercial from the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The commercial showed a healthy looking infant crawling slowly on the floor while a serious woman's voice extolled the virtues of milk, specifically stating that Canada's Food Guide recommends that children have two cups of chocolate milk daily (remember, 80% more Calories drop per drop than Coca Cola) to help them grow up healthy.

What's your guess, did the Committee mention the Food Guide?

Here's a summary of the Committee's recommendations:

  • More research into childhood obesity
  • More funding for advertising campaigns designed to educate about childhood obesity
  • A call to implement the findings of the trans-fat task force
  • Research on the special needs of first nations Canadians in the battle on obesity
  • Improvement of nutrition labeling
  • Better data collection for research
  • The sharing of data with health professionals
  • The identification of what will become the "lead agency" on childhood obesity in Canada
  • The finding of means to reduce the costs of "nutritious" foods to the more remote parts of Canada
  • The tracking of childrens' involvements in sports
  • Improvement of school health and fitness curricula
  • New funding for improved infrastructure in schools for healthy fitness and food choices
  • The evaluation of the efficacy of the ban against advertising to children in Quebec.

    Oh, and if you're wondering about the significance of the picture at the top of this post, it's the first one that shows up in Google Images with the search for "Toothless".