Doc Talk #69 – Childhood obesity


We discussed the weighty issue of childhood overweight and obesity.

(Image by Lucasmartin2 (Own work) (CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It is a growing problem and the statistics are quite terrifying. Almost a quarter of pre-schoolers are overweight with 10% classified as obese; a third of adolescents are overweight and 20% are obese.

Calculating whether a child is overweight or obese is more complicated than in adults (where the BMI can be used).  WebMD has a BMI calculator designed for children.

As well as exploring the health issues kids  can face if they are overweight or obese (including diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression), we talked about ways of tackling weight problems in children and teenagers.

We have some great local resources in Vegreville incuding the health unit.

There is a whole host of provincial programming and other information sources including Healthy Parents, Healthy Children, Raising Our Healthy Kids and Healthy Eating Starts Here.

Parents and community members can also help by advocating for government policies and regulations which support people making healthier choices, such as taxing sugary drinks and changing the built environment to support physical activity.