Suzanne Tough - Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community

Youth & Active Living
Health Kids Alberta Presentation
Dr. Nicholas L. Holt
CASA research lab
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
University of Alberta
Funding Provided By:
Physical Activity Among
Canadian Youth
• 49% of youth are active during their leisure time
(equivalent of 1 hr walking per day).
• Only 21% of youth are active enough to meet
international guidelines for optimal growth and
development (CFLRI: 2004 Physical Activity Monitor)
– 63% of 5-17 year olds not active enough for optimal growth
– 90% adult & 70% child trips by car (2001 US Department of
National Transportation Travel Survey).
• Approximately one in three Canadian children are
overweight or obese (Tremblay & Willms, 2003).
– In the past 15 years, the prevalence of obesity has tripled in
Canadian children aged 7-13 (Tremblay and Willms, 2000)
– Canada ranked as the fifth highest country for prevalence of
overweight and obese school-aged youth following Malta, US,
Wales, and Greenland (Janssen et al., 2005).
Opportunities for Physical Activity
Developing Child
Physical Activity Among
Canadian Youth
• Decline in activity with age and gender (girls at 14-15
yrs vs boys 16-17 yrs)
– Adolescents less active than children 2-12 years old (33%
vs 43%)
– Girls less active than boys: 30% vs 50% at 5-12 yrs vs 25%
vs 40% at 13-17 yrs
– Girls - less intense physical activities
• Proportion of students in grades 6, 8, and 10 who
exercise >1x/wk outside of school is declining (19901998)
– Proportion of students who watch TV >4 hrs/day is
– Proportion of students who play video games >4 hrs/wk is
increasing (mostly males). Canadian children among
highest in world
– average Canadian child is sedentary for 3-5 hrs/day in front
of TV alone (CMAJ, 1998)
Neighbourhoods & Physical Activity
• Studies show that adults who live in low-density suburban
areas are:
– walk and bicycle less;
– use cars more;
– more overweight;
– and have higher rates
of obesity-related illnesses
 (Cervero & Duncan, 2003; Ewing et al., 2003; Frank et al., 2004; Frank et
al. 2005; Handy et al., 2006; Kelly-Schwartz et al., 2004; Lopez, 2004;
Saelens et al., 2003; Sturm & Cohen, 2004).
Neighbourhood and Developmental
Influences on Play and PA
• More active transportation from children
in grid-style neighborhood
• Benefits of cul-de-sacs for younger children
• Benefits of grid-style for older children
PA in Inner-City Locations
• I: So if you were going to talk to another kid from another school, what
would you say is the best thing about living in this neighbourhood?
• S4: It’s close to the school and you don’t have to, in the
wintertime you don’t like have to drive there and take the bus, you
can just walk there and it’s pretty quick.
• I: Ok, how about, what would you say is the worst thing about living in
this neighbourhood?
• S4: Sometimes there’s homeless people behind the house and
• S3: It’s kinda bad because when my mom used to walk me to
school when my brother was just in day care he would take a day
care bus so she would walk me to school before we got the car,
and she would always pick up needles along the way, and in the
school yard and stuff.
Treatment Needs/Preferences of
Overweight Children & Their Families
Authoritative Parenting Skills
Resistance to Changing Screen Time
Help From Health Care Professionals
Increase Social Support Network
Provide Family-Centered Treatment
Policy/Institutional Level Support
Sport and Youth Development
Positive outcomes
 Skill development
 Grade point averages
 Fruit consumption
 Contraceptive use
↓ Use of illegal drugs
↓ School dropout
Negative outcomes
 Use of alcohol
 Perf-enhancing drugs
 Undesirable social norms
↓ Perspective taking
↓ Moral development
Selected Sources:
(Barber, Eccles, & Stone, 2001; Collis & Griffin, 1993; Eccles & Barber, 1999; Eder & Parker,
1987; Hansen, Larson, & Dworkin, 2003; Mahoney, 2000; Marsh & Kleitman, 2003; Martinek,
McLaughlin, & Schilling, 1999; McNeal, 1995; Melnick, Miller, Sabo, Farrell, & Barnes, 2001;
Novick & Glasgow, 1993; Pate et al., 2000; Pedersen & Seidman, 2004; Rainey, McKeown,
Sargent, & Valois, 1996; Richman & Shaffer, 2000; Ryckman & Hamel, 1995; Sabo, Miller,
Farrell, Melnick, & Barnes, 1999; Shields & Bredemeier, 1995)
Sport Participation
• Structure created by coach can promote
responsibility and teamwork
• Authoritative parenting style associated with
range of positive outcomes in sport
Opportunities for Physical Activity
Developing Child
7 Keys to Active Living
for Children and Youth
1. Opportunity (Home, School, Community)
2. Daily Dose
3. Skill Development
4. Choice
5. Key Role Models
6. Appropriate Competition
7. Family Involvement
(Adapted from, Active Start for Healthy Kids, Virgilio, 2006)
Dr. Nicholas L. Holt
Child & Adolescent Sport & Activity research lab
(780) 492-9296 (lab)
(780) 492-7386 (office)
[email protected]
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic:
How It Can Be Changed
Suzanne Tough, PhD
University of Calgary
Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research
A Synthesis of the Research
• Researchers used a systematic approach to
find, select and critically appraise research
literature on the prevention and treatment of
childhood obesity
• Aimed to identify:
– the common features of existing programs and the gaps
– the best way to develop and implement existing programs
– the features of existing programs that were most
successful in achieving healthy weights
Flynn, MA, McNeil DM, Tough SC, Maloff B, Ford C, Mutasingwa D, Wu M. Reducing
obesity and related chronic disease risk in children and youth: a synthesis of evidence
with best practice recommendations. Obesity Reviews 2006;7(Suppl 1):7-66.
What’s Missing in Existing Programs
Very few programs for preschool children
Very few programs in the home
Lack of programs that change the environment
Programs specifically for boys or girls were rare
No program specifically targeted immigrants
Most programs were short with little follow-up
Things that Worked Well in Program
• Community and stakeholder involvement
• Including program leaders and role models
• Keeping principles of population health, such as
changing the environment and policies, central
to program design
Things that Worked Well in Program
• Many programs had some success in reaching
their goals
• Increased physical activity was successful most
• Other successful strategies were:
behaviour modification
involvement of children’s families
psychological support
health education
• Although rarely used, changes to the
environment were successful when used
What Action Should Be Taken?
• Develop community programs for immigrants,
preschool children, and boys
• Encourage use of effective strategies, such as
environmental change and physical activity
• Invest in long term programs and follow-up to
enable monitoring and evaluation
Thank You!
Alberta Centre for Child, Family
and Community Research
Email: [email protected]
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