children playing

Healthy habits start earlier than you think

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth
Active Healthy Kids Canada
Publication Date: 
1 May 2010



The 2010 Report Card by Active Healthy Kids Canada marks the 6th annual overview of the many factors impacting the poor state of physical activity in this country.
To overcome a societal problem of this magnitude, all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, researchers, corporations and foundations need to be engaged in a collaborative effort to improve the physical activity profile of the country.

This year, Active Healthy Kids Canada is taking a closer look at an age group that has typically not received a great deal of attention in the realm of physical activity and health. Sadly, overweight and obesity are becoming more and more common among preschool-age children in Canada. Two independent reports from separate regions in Canada indicate that the prevalence of obesity in children aged 2 to 5 years is between 8 and 11%.National surveillance data show that 15.2% of 2- to 5-year-old children are overweight, and 6.3% are obese. The burgeoning obesity epidemic, coupled with the known challenges of treating obesity, has led to increased interest and efforts on the prevention of obesity. In addition, the early years have been identified as a critical period for growth and acquisition of motor skills that are needed to be physically active throughout life.

The Report Card starts off by highlighting the importance of physical activity among our nation's youngest population. It considers the outcomes associated with physical activity (noting psychosocial outcomes in particular this year) and explores recently released data on the declining fitness of the nation. The Report Card then transitions into an evaluation of 17 indicators across 5 broad areas of influence: physical activity levels, school, family and peers, community and the built environment, and policy and funding.