|StatsCan estimates that 31.5% of Canadian children aged 5 to 17 — an estimated 1.6 million — are overweight (19.8%) or obese (11.7%). (QMI AGENCY FILE) |
Nearly one-third of Canadian children are overweight or obese, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.
Using World Health Organization standards, StatsCan estimates that 31.5% of Canadian children aged 5 to 17 — an estimated 1.6 million — are overweight (19.8%) or obese (11.7%).
The percentage of overweight children is similar across age groups. But more boys (15.1%) are obese than girls (8%). The difference is most notable for the 5 to 11 age group, with 19.5% of boys but only 6.3% of girls characterized as obese.
Researchers said the findings aren't surprising, but are nonetheless concerning.
"Although these estimates have not changed significantly in recent years, more data points are needed to determine if the pace of increase in prevalence is slowing, as has been observed in some countries," the report concludes. "Regardless, the estimates remain high and are a public-health concern, given the tendency for excess weight in childhood to persist through to adulthood."
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