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Canadian Parents Have a Rosy View of Their Children’s Health Status

Ruth Collins-Nakai, President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said that Canadian parents appear to have a very rosy view of the health of their own children// although in general they rated Canadian children a C when it came to health, according to a survey carried out by Ipsos-Reid, commissioned by the CMA.

It was revealed that 26% of Canadian kids aged 2-17 are obese/overweight, however only 9% of Canadian parents considered their own children to be so.

Although reluctant or unable to acknowledge the health status of their own kids, most Canadian parents did support activities that would improve children's health, such as diet and physical activity initiatives.

The survey revealed that 61% of parents would be in favor of a ban on junk-food advertising. 81% would like to see all junk food removed from school vending machines. 43% were keen on a new junk food tax. 63% would like to see tax breaks to encourage the purchase of healthy foods. 92% would like to see compulsory physical activity for children in schools. 87% considered that children should be taught the benefits of physical activity and a healthy diet at school. 80% would like to see tax deductions for money spent on sports and other physical activity programs.

In general, it was found that Canadian parents feel that children's mental health services are lacking in the country. Only 7% of them surveyed said that the services were excellent.

It was a telephone survey where 1,007 parents were contacted. In June, 593 parents of children under 18 in June/July, and 129 parents of special needs children in June/July.

Ruth Collins-Nakai wrote “As a specialist in cardiac care for both children and adults, I have a very real fear we are killing our children with kindness by setting them up for a lifetime of inactivity and poor health.”

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