Second annual WOD4 SickKids Event

Photographer: Sweat RX

“Seventy-Three Per Cent of Canadians Think Children’s Lifestyles Are Not as Healthy Today as Compared to Their Own Childhood”.

Children today may be the first generation in our history to have shorter lifespans than their parents. And, according to a national opinion poll conducted by SickKids Foundation, the SickKids Healthy and Happy Pulse Check Survey, 73 per cent of Canadian adults are worried that today’s youth aren’t as healthy and active as when they were children. Furthermore, when asked what the most concerning health issue facing children and youth is, respondents were twice as likely to cite obesity than any other child health concern.

“Children aren’t playing and being active like they used to be,” says Dr. Jill Hamilton, staff endocrinologist and head of the Centre for Healthy Active Kids at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). “In fact, fewer than seven per cent of Canadian youth achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day at least six days a week. The benefits of healthy nutrition and staying active are tied to greater mental and physical health, academic performance, skill development, problem solving and social skills.”

SickKids Foundation today announced the launch of its third annual Healthy and Happycampaign to build awareness of pressing children’s health issues and the need for community support to further research and patient care. This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness of the critical role that prevention plays in providing children and youth with the best possible opportunities to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

The month-long education and awareness campaign kicked off with a panel discussion featuring SickKids experts. Topics included the science of exercise, sports and concussions, diabetes, sleep disorders, self-esteem and nutrition, and how social conditions can affect long-term health. The City of Toronto also issued a proclamation today declaring May SickKidsHealthy and Happy month.

Canadians’ Perceptions of the State of Children’s Health

According to the 2014 SickKids Healthy and Happy Pulse Check Survey, as compared to their own childhood:

  • 78 per cent of adults believe children today are getting less exercise
  • 65 per cent say they have poorer eating habits
  • 59 per cent feel they are getting less nutritional value from their diet
  • 67 per cent of parents of children 18 years of age or under believe children’s lifestyles are not as healthy today; 76 per cent of the balance of the population feel the same
  • 79 per cent of Canadians 55 years old and older think children’s lifestyles today are not as healthy as compared to their own childhood.

The Centre for Healthy Active Kids at SickKids is an interdisciplinary program that integrates pediatricians, dietitians, psychologists and social workers. Recently launched, the Centre was established to address challenges in the management and prevention of childhood obesity and to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity for all children and adolescents.

“By promoting healthy lifestyles and developing prevention and intervention strategies early in life, SickKids will help build the foundation of healthy living for future generations,” says Dr. Michael Apkon, President and CEO of SickKids.

The campaign aims to engage the community and allows everyone to show their support for children’s health. The campaign is built on one premise – every child deserves to be healthy and happy.

“SickKids Foundation is pleased to support WOD4 SickKids second annual event and campaign to raise awareness of important child health issues. June 6-7th, 2015 CrossFitters will participate in a competition to raise funds and awareness for this great cause!

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