The Obesity Epidemic in Canada

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Obesity is a growing concern in Canada and due to the increased time spent in one’s place of employment, there is an augmented importance placed on healthy living in the workplace. In 2004, approximately 6.8 million Canadian adults between the ages of 20 and 64 were overweight, and an additional 4.5 million were obese as recorded by the Canadian Policy Research Networks (Pierre, N., Pollack, N., & Fafard, P. 2007), further emphasizing the need to reduce obesity rates and to improve overall health. This demographic represents primarily the working population, which is the target population in respect to promoting active living in the workplace. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the “impact of the obesity epidemic on non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer threatens to overwhelm health systems; the need for prevention and control is clear” (ECOSOC/UNESCWA/WHO, 2009) There are a substantial number of policies in place in hopes to reduce obesity rates as well as encourage active living. However, there seems to be a large gap between why the policies are implemented in hopes to achieve a set outcome, and the knowledge of appropriate and effective steps to go about producing the desired change. Additionally, while there are policies in place with the intent of reducing obesity rates, there are few to none that with the intent of promoting active living within the workplace. While the strain on the health care system is evidently a major issue, poor health of employees also has been proven to negatively affect the overall performance in the workplace. Alternatively, good health in the workplace has been proven to reduce absenteeism, reduce the costs of disability and dru... ... middle of paper ... ...mmission. (2013). Issue:Workplace. Mental Health Commission of Canada. Retrieved December 10, 2013, from Ministry of Health. (2013). Promote Physical Activity. – Healthy Environments. Retrieved December 3, 2013, from Ministry Of H. P. (2007). Ontario's Sport and Physical Activity Strategies. Active 2010, 1. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from Ontario's action plan for healthy eating and active living. (2006). Toronto, Ont.: Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion. Pierre, N., Pollack, N., & Fafard, P. (2007). Health Policies and Trends for Selected Target Groups in Canada.

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