Healthy weights

You can’t go too long without seeing or hearing a news report on the epidemic of childhood obesity in Canada, the United States and other developed countries.

When it comes to weights, Yukon children look a lot like other Canadians. A survey of Grade 6-10 students conducted in 2009 found that the majority of young people have a healthy weight. But about one-quarter of males, and about 16 percent of females are overweight or obese according to their reported height and weight. Carrying extra weight is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Unhealthy weights are like a canary in a coal mine – they serve as an indication that something else is wrong. It’s better to shift the focus from weight to eating healthy and being physically active. Taking steps to eat a balanced diet, be active every day, limit screen time and get a good night’s sleep (that’s right, sleep is related to weight!) is a much, much better approach than dieting when it comes to health.

There’s a lot of pressure to be thin, particularly for girls. But bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure to love and accept your child no matter what. See Body Image.