On Halloween night, thousands of kids all across Canada dress up in costume, with empty bags and pillowcases in hand. They speed from house to house, collecting as many sugary treats as they can carry. For kids, getting free goodies makes this one of the most exciting nights of the year. But this tradition is also related to a very important issue in healthcare today: childhood obesity.
Rates of childhood obesity in Canada have almost tripled in the past 25 years. According to the Childhood Obesity Foundation of Canada, approximately 26% of children ages 2-17 are currently overweight or obese. These rates continue to increase into adulthood. This brings significant costs not only to the families and individuals struggling with obesity, but also to the Canadian Healthcare System.
Why is this happening? What has changed in the lives of young people? What are we doing right and wrong in the management of obesity?
On this episode of HJR, we interviewed Dr. Katherine Morrison, a pediatric endocrinologist and associate professor at McMaster University. She brings to light some of the realities about childhood obesity in Canada today: the facts, the perceptions, and how we can make positive changes.