Five to 10 per cent of children in Ottawa are overweight or headed toward obesity, said the city’s acting medical officer of health.
“A small but significantly growing percentage of children under 12 are showing signs of being overweight,” said Dr. Isra Levy.
They’re at risk of becoming obese, he added.
In general, Ottawans are getting fatter and less active than our counterparts in the past. Levy estimates that half the adults in the nation’s capital are overweight — numbers that are consistent with the rest of the province.
Although obesity is a problem for people of all ages, action is especially needed among children, he said.
An Active Ottawa Actif event aimed to do exactly that yesterday. About 75 children from area day-care programs attended an event at city hall where Coun. Rainer Bloess proclaimed May to be Physical Activity Month in Ottawa.
“Physical activity and healthy eating are important at any age, but especially when you’re young,” said Levy.
This month, the city is promoting its Every Day in May Physical Activity Challenge — where people of all ages doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day are eligible to win prizes — and the Try It! program, which allows residents to get a free five-day parks and recreation pass for selected city facilities.