Roughly one in three kids ages five to 17 are overweight, according to Statistics Canada. It’s a frightening number that has led to the assertion that, for the first time in centuries, children are likely to start living shorter lives than their parents. That’s because many diseases of adulthood are linked to childhood obesity, such as increased risk for type 2 diabetes (increasingly being diagnosed in young people) and cardiovascular disease.
Sugary drinks and high-calorie snacks are amongst the main offenders, along with an increase in sedentary lifestyles. Experts at the recent launch of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children Healthy Happy Me campaign say this makes for a toxic combo, where continued inactivity actually causes our brains to crave the sugar, salt and fat found in junk food.
Merilee A. Kern’s award-winning book can help kids get on the right track. Making Healthy Choices is a fictional story about the life of overweight youth in America. Separate editions are available for boys and girls.
Throughout her book, Merilee introduces different health themes such as the social pressures that influence children to make unhealthy choices. Reviews praise the way in which Merilee motivates youth to lead healthier lives. Geared towards adolescents, this illustrated book is relevant to readers of any weight.
$12, available online at Amazon.ca.