Support a National Cycling Strategy to Help Curb Childhood Obesity

Governments across Canada including the Province of BC, have started a dialog on childhood obesity. Our Health Our Future, a National Dialog on Healthy Weight. They are encouraging all British Columbians to participate.

There is an on-line forum where people and groups can submit ideas and vote on ideas submitted by others. Please vote for the BCCC’s idea to Develop a National Cycling Strategy.

The Province’s press release contains some sobering facts:

  • Evidence shows that if British Columbians exercised for 30 minutes a day, controlled their weight, ate reasonably well and refrained from smoking – they could reduce their risk factors for most chronic disease by up to 80 per cent.
  • About 2,000 British Columbians die prematurely every year due to obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Childhood overweight and obesity rates are rising in Canada. Obesity rates in children have almost tripled in the last 25 years.
  • Childhood overweight and obesity in British Columbia is an issue nearing crisis proportions according to the Province’s Select Standing Committee on Health.

In the Globe and Mail article on the dialog, Ministers’ ‘national dialogue’ on obesity falls short for health advocates, Mark Tremblay, director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario supports funding for bike lanes.

Dr. Tremblay said the government invests very little in fighting obesity. To achieve real change, current and successive governments will need to invest hundreds of millions in a national strategy to build more bike lanes, shift the health-care system toward obesity prevention and improve public education about nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

More information on the case for increased investment in cycling can be found in the BCCC’s budget submission, Realizing the Benefits of Accelerated Investment in Cycling. A summary can be found in Investing in a Healthy Future.

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