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Tackling childhood obesity using structured play times

Medical X-Press – Todd Devlin

“How important is physical activity in children under 5? It’s a question Trish Tucker, a professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, tackles on a daily basis. She’s currently involved in a major research project that aims to get young children moving – early and often. The childhood obesity rate in Canada has increased significantly over the last several years. But it’s more than a recent trend. According to the federal government, obesity rates among children and youth have nearly tripled over the last 30 years. The negative impacts – on the individual and on the health-care system – can be significant. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and they’re at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular illnesses. One of the major factors cited is a lack of physical activity. Government of Canada statistics show only 9 per cent of children and youth, aged 5 to 17, get the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate to intense physical activity. It’s clear addressing the issue early is key.”(more)

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