Santé Estrie re­sponds to Fraser In­sti­tute study

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, there is a global obe­sity epi­demic. In two decades, obe­sity and ex­cess weight has in­creased rapidly in most de­vel­oped coun­tries and in some de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

In Que­bec, the pro­por­tion of over­weight people went from 35.5 % in 1987 to 50.5% in 2011-2012. The aver­age weight of the pop­u­la­tion has gone from 25.1 kilo­grams per square me­ter, in 2001, to 25.7 kilo­grams per square me­ter in 2012, show­ing a weight

in­crease in the en­tire pop­u­la­tion (people of all ages).

These facts were gath­ered from people who sup­plied the in­for­ma­tion them­selves; how­ever, sci­en­tific stud­ies show that this method re­sults in un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

Ex­cess weight and obe­sity are the symp­toms of two re­cent sit­u­a­tions: a de­crease in the amount of ex­er­cise people get and a change in eat­ing habits. A re­cent study of Que­bec high school stu­dents (20102011) shed some light on these facts. In Que­bec, 83% of youth be­tween 12 and 17 years of age do not get the min­i­mal amount of ex­er­cise needed to re­main healthy: at least one hour per day. Two thirds of this same age group do not eat the rec­om­mended num­ber of por­tions of fruit and veg­eta­bles daily, and only 60% eat break­fast ev­ery day. One third of the teenagers stud­ied drank un­healthy bev­er­ages and ate junk food daily, and only a lit­tle more than half of them had not eaten junk food for lunch dur- ing the week be­fore the study. The ef­fects of these life­style habits will be seen for decades to come and so should be care­fully con­sid­ered.

Be­ing over­weight in­creases the risk of di­a­betes and heart dis­ease. The pro­por­tion of Que­bec adults di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes has in­creased from 5.2% to 8.8% be­tween 2001 and 2011. Que­bec adults with high blood pres­sure went from 15.8% to 20.3% be­tween 2000 and 2007.

The con­se­quences of be­ing over­weight are se­ri­ous but avoid­able. Eat­ing prop­erly and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly can pre­vent or man­age chronic ill­ness. Two thirds of all can­cers can be avoided with a healthy life­style. But it’s dif­fi­cult to eat well if we are al­ways faced with un­healthy food choices and it is hard to get more ex­er­cise when ev­ery­thing is or­ga­nized to avoid all phys­i­cal ef­fort. For these rea­sons, a change in en­vi­ron­ment is needed such as what kind of food is eas­ily avail­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.