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From PEKN 1P93 Winter 2014: Group 18: Disease Prevention
== PEKN 1P93 ==
 Childhood Obesity
 BackgroundIn 1997, the World Health Organization declared obesity a global epidemic with major health implications (World Health Organization, 2001). Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years and continues to increase (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2014). The percentage of obese children aged 6-11 years old in the United States has drastically escalated from 7.0% in 1980 to 18.0% in 2012, whereas the percentage of obese adolescents aged 12–19 surged from 5% in 1980 to nearly 21% in 2012 (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2014). These are specific reasons as to why the epidemic of childhood obesity needs to be address all around the world. In addition, a frightening statistic shows that individuals aged 5 to 17 who are obese increase their risk of developing a cardiovascular disease by 70.0% (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2014).
Physical activity has and will always continue to play a sufficient role in everyday life, however the reasons why have to of began somewhere. The way history has influenced the views of physical education is important in accessing the way the life and culture has changed and how it may be used to better itself again in order to promote people living healthy lives. The amount of obese children now is starting to increase, so if we look back into how physical education began, it may give insight to how we can get young children and their families active once again.
In the nineteenth century, physical education was very limited in British Columbia (Cosentino & Howell, 1971). In 1891 calisthenics was placed on a list of optional subjects for the public schools. Various activities such as drill routines and gymnastics were popular, but there were few facilities devoted to physical education. The Pemberton Gymnasium in Victoria was unique, as it was built in 1894 with funds bequeathed in the estate of J. D. Pemberton, and was the first public school gymnasium in the province(Cosentino & Howell, 1971).
During the early 1900s, military preparedness had a profound impact on physical education in British Columbia and in 1912, physical education became a compulsory subject in British Columbia schools (Mandigo, 2014). Funding for physical education came as a result of the province's acceptance of the Strathcona Trust in 1910 (Mandigo, 2014). Lord Strathcona provided $500,000 to the Militia Department of the Canadian government and the Dominion government then agreed to pay the interest at four percent to the physical education programs of deserving provinces (Mandigo, 2014). The trust established by Lord Strathcona had three major purposes for physical education: (1) to incorporate physical training as an integral part of the curriculum in all schools, (2) to form cadet corps, and (3) to provide teacher training in physical education (Mandigo, 2014). Section 5a of the constitution of the Strathcona Trust outlines the principles regarding physical education which must be followed by schools intending on collecting money from the Strathcona Trust (Mandigo, 2014).
His object being not only to improve the physical and intellectual capabilities of the children, by inculcating habits of alertness, orderliness and prompt obedience, but also to bring up the boys to patriotism, and to a realization that the first duty of a free citizen is to be prepared to defend his country (Anderson et al, 1989). The intention of the Founder is that while physical training and elementary drills should be encouraged for all children of both sexes attending public schools, special importance is to be attached to teaching of military drill generally to all boys, including rifle shooting for boys capable of using rifles (Anderson et al, 1989). All boys should so far as possible, be made to acquire a fair acquaintance while at school, with military drill and rifle shooting (Anderson et al, 1989).
During the advanced session of the Provincial Normal School in Vancouver (January to June 1911), a course was provided on the instruction of physical training (Anderson et al, 1989). One hundred and forty-three prospective teachers completed this training course, taught by a non-commissioned militia officer, and obtained certificates of qualification as instructors of physical training in public schools (Anderson et al, 1989). In addition, a course in military drill was provided to twenty-one male teachers at the Royal School of Instruction in Esquimalt (Anderson et al, 1989). All of these teachers passed the required examination and were each granted the rank of Cadet Instructor and by 1914, 1,279 teachers and prospective teachers had qualified as physical training instructors (Anderson et al, 1989). However, only those teachers who completed the military drill course were qualified to teach the drill portion of the physical education curriculum. Since very few teachers, all of whom were male, held this qualification, military personnel, who were trained and capable of the regimented drill and practice required by the trust, were utilized as instructors of physical training in public schools (Anderson et al, 1989).
With the onset of World War I, enthusiasm for military drill and physical training was high, however, there was a form of physical education distinct from military drill being taught even throughout the war years (Anderson et al, 1989). Organizations such as the YMCA started youth clubs and organized games in gymnasiums throughout Western Canada, and as a result of the YMCA's programs, many youths were introduced to the non-military aspect of physical education (Anderson et al, 1989). This filtered into public schools and had a significant impact on their physical education programs. In addition, when Canada entered the First World War, military training was often substituted with non-military training in schools because the instructors of military training went off to fight (Anderson et al, 1989). This left the teaching of physical education to the teachers who were often women not trained in teaching the physical training program of the Strathcona Trust. This initial break from military emphasis helped British Columbia to start the evolution from physical training to physical education following the war (Anderson et al, 1989).
In the Annual Report of the Public Schools for 1935-36, the superintendent of Vancouver Schools wrote: "for years we have been engaging special teachers to teach special subjects such as art, French, mathematics, and music. At last we have progressed to the point where special teachers with special training and qualifications are required to teach physical education. This subject is no longer the Cinderella of our curriculum" (Cosention & Howell, 1971). A new philosophy was developing in British Columbia schools which emphasized games, skill development and the idea that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Physical education was starting to be used for enjoyment(Cosention & Howell, 1971).
Some of the gains made in the 1920s were lost in the 1930s when many local boards of education dropped physical education from the school curriculum, on the grounds that physical education was an unnecessary and expensive frill (Van Vliet, 1965). However, the absence of wholesome physical activity among unemployed youths was also a concern. To this end, "forward-thinking leaders of this field realized that physical education could do much for the situation" and that a "concerted effort was necessary to strengthen and expand worth-while programs which could contribute to enriched living" (Van Vliet, 1965). These ideas led the formation of the Canadian Physical Education Association [CPEA] in 1933 (Van Vliet, 1965).
The goals of the CPEA were: (Coesntino & Howell, 1971) To stimulate universal, intelligent, and active interest in health and physical education. To acquire and disseminate knowledge concerning the first goal. To promote interest and to strive for the establishment of educative programs under the direction of properly trained teachers and to set the standards of the physical education profession.
With organizations such as the CPEA leading the way, cadet corps and military style instruction began to disappear in British Columbia schools. This greatly effected changes in the school curriculum in regards to physical education. Games and extra-curricular athletics became very popular in schools, and community sports thrived like never before (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). The so-called Green Syllabus was introduced in British Columbia in 1933, and The Green Syllabus emphasized the Danish style of gymnastics, which was more rhythmic than the Swedish style (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). The 1933 Physical Education syllabus also promoted games such as baseball, softball, rugby, and basketball in British Columbia schools (Coesntino & Howell, 1971).
The years leading up to World War II saw further changes in the attitude towards physical education in British Columbia. In 1934, the Recreational and Physical Education Branch of the Department of Education was created to focus on physical fitness both inside and outside of school (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). By 1936, the aim of the Recreational and Physical Education Branch of the Department of Education became focused on "a beautiful all-round development of the individual, physically as well as mentally" (Martens, 1986). It was decided that such a goal could not be attained through competitive sports and games alone (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). The emphasis then moved from competitive sports and formalized physical exercises to more "enjoyable rhythmic gymnastics, group games, folk and social dances, elementary tumbling, box-vaulting, and other apparatus activities designed to develop strength, flexibility, and muscular co-ordination" (Cosentino & Howell, 1971). The Pro-Rec program was an immediate success and it set the foundation for the social and philosophical changes that eventually occurred in the field of physical education in British Columbia schools (Cosentino & Howell, 1971).
Next, the start of World War II produced a devastating effect on the physical education programs in British Columbia schools. Since many male physical education instructors left the classroom to fight overseas, a large shortage developed and these positions were filled by less qualified teachers who knew very little about physical education (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). In addition, the Army had a priority to physical education equipment so even school systems where funds had not been cut back were not always able to purchase the required athletic supplies (Coesntino & Howell, 1971). As a result, the "physical education programs changed in character, with the stress on formal calisthenics, obstacle courses, and endurance activities and other programs requiring no equipment" (Cosentino & Howell, 1971). Furthermore, the old system of physical activity and military drill seemed to be making its way back into schools with the outbreak of World War II (Coesntino & Howell, 1971).
At the start of the war, many volunteers — males and females — were rejected because they were physically unfit for military service, which provoked a widespread concern about the physical fitness of Canada's youth (Martens, 1986). These concerns were expressed earlier by the CPEA at its annual convention in Vancouver in 1939 (Martens, 1986). At that time, the CPEA urged federal and provincial governments to establish better programs for recreation and fitness and these factors triggered the introduction of the National Fitness Act of 1943 (Martens, 1986). This act extended the physical education programs in all educational institutions, encouraged sports and other athletics, and prepared teachers in "the principles of physical education and fitness" (Martens, 1986). Overall, the act stimulated British Columbia to improve its physical education and recreation programs for both schools and for the community.
Following World War II, participation in competitive games and team sports became the theme of physical education in British Columbia schools (Martens, 1986). This theme, when accompanied by the National Physical Fitness Act of 1943, brought about a new physical education curriculum for British Columbia schools, as well as more funding for the extension of physical education programs. The post war curriculum emphasized new objectives which helped: ((Martens, 1986)
To develop fundamental skills of movement. To develop athletic and game skills. To develop and maintain physical fitness through vigorous physical exercise. To develop knowledge and attitudes of game strategies and rules. To develop social and abilities through group interaction, team work, and learning to accept responsibilities and to develop emotional stability and control.
This curriculum emphasized new, more modern idea of fitness and participation (Martens, 1986). These objectives stressed the importance of fitness as well as the skills necessary to develop good psycho-motor abilities which are fundamental for participation in games and sports, and because of this new curriculum, intra and inter school sports became more popular (Martens, 1986). John Gough, municipal inspector for the Greater Victoria School District, noted in the late 1940s that student participation in school athletics and inter-school competitions in soccer, basketball, swimming, badminton and track and field had increased significantly (Martens, 1986).
Leading the way in the philosophical changes of physical education was the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation CAHPER) (Canadian Associated for Health Services and Policy Research, 2014). This association, founded in 1933 by Dr. A. S. Lamb as the CPEA, evolved into the CAHPER with the goal of uniting teachers, administrators, researchers, coaches, students, and other people involved in one of the three areas — health, physical education and recreation and to promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle (Canadian Associated for Health Services and Policy Research, 2014). This association had four main objective: (Canadian Associated for Health Services and Policy Research, 2014)
To act as a strong national advocate for physical education, health, sport, dance, and recreation on issues pertaining to physically active lifestyles. To create a network of practitioners and work in partnership with provincial liaison groups and related agencies to achieve mutual goals. To exercise leadership as a collaborative convenor of a forum of allied organizations and agencies that relate to physically active lifestyles and to develop quality programs in educational settings from kindergarten to university. These objectives proved to be very successful. CAHPER's largest success regarding physical education in schools was the promotion of quality daily physical activity within school programs. With this push towards a more modern physical education in schools, new teacher training programs were developed to improve the level of qualification of teachers regarding physical education.
Furthermore, in the late 1900's the increase of technologies and various fast food restaurants began to take over (Cosentino & Howell, 1971). Young children had began staying inside more often and also ate out with their families for frequently for convenience (Cosentino & Howell, 1971). The distractions and the lost of interest for physical activity began growing and this has become one of the major contributions effecting the obesity rates rising. Daily physical activity (DPA) has become more aware in schools, in which they need to provide physical activity in day to day courses, to help promote activity and have children be more involved with one another.
It is evident that the drills and physical training of the early 1900s was instrumental in developing the physical education programs of today, however, we need to continue to stress the importance in schools in order to lower the increased level of obese children. The Strathcona Trust is viewed by many as a particularly negative program in terms of physical education in British Columbia, but this truly is a misconception. Not only did the Srathcona Trust promote the importance of physical education in schools, but it also provided much-needed funding along with a structure for physical education and the entire curriculum. Eventually, the drill and training gave way to a program which emphasized fun, health-centered physical education programs including games, sports, and healthy living.
 Target AudienceChild obesity has emerged as a great concern across the globe and continues to substantially increase throughout the years. The goal is to address children ranging from grades one through grade eight. However, a child that is given the sole responsibility to maintain their weight is unlikely to succeed in attaining a healthy weight (Jegtvig, 2013). During one’s childhood, it is difficult to understand and take care of your body properly due to their lack of knowledge.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has been following childhood obesity for numerous years and has concluded that this epidemic has continued to rise since the 1960’s, including it nearly quadrupling within the last ten years (Children and the Environment, 2013). To add, it has also been shown that physical activity has continued to decline year after year among children, which ultimately leads to a greater risk for these children to become obese (Akhtar-Danesh et al., 2005). For more information: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/24. In addition, according to the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey, only 7% of Canadian children are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, which currently states that children need a minimum amount of 60 minutes of physical activity every day (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2012). In fact, only 44% of Canadian children are getting this recommended 60 minutes, and only every three days (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2012). This percentage as expected is going to continue to decrease unless parents, children, and caretakers (such as teachers) work together to encourage and implement their children to become more active. There is constant growing evidence that the lack of physical activity is the number one cause of childhood obesity (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2012). Active Healthy Kids Canada claims that if a child is obese, the chances to become obese as an adult substantially increases, and that being obese as such a young age could add many psychological, physical, and social difficulties such as depression, diabetes, etc (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2012). Just as the Active Healthy Kids Canada concluded obese children are likely to continue to be obese through their entire life, a study done by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention established consistent results. Furthermore, this study found that about 80% of obese children who were overweight at the age of 10 were also obese at the age of 25 (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Another study done by the Centre Disease Control and Prevention indicated that over 25% of obese adults were also obese as children (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Similarly, this study also found that if a child is overweight before the age of eight, suffering from obesity as an adult will unquestionably be more severe (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). The Centre also states that the best way to address childhood obesity includes addressing nutrition and physical activity, the most effective ways to decrease obesity (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Next, it also states physical activity as the number one prevention tactic to cure obesity, as regular physical activity improves your overall health and leads to an increased amount of healthy lifestyle choices (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html. Regular physical activity in children and adolescents improves strength, helps developmental growth of bones and muscles, reduces anxiety and stress, can improve various health factors including blood pressure, as well as helping to improve and control weight drastically. Obesity is a serious long-term effect as a result of a lack of physical activity, which ultimately contributes significantly to a complete morbid being (Physical Activity Facts, 2014). A study done in 2005 verified that physical inactivity during years of childhood was the strongest contributor to becoming overweight and obese (Strong et al, 2005). This study was done with a group of 6-18 year olds, and it tracked their lack physical activity in order to view the negative effects it has on health and behaviour (Strong et al, 2005). The results stated that by increading children’s level of physical activity no only promoted better health, but it also lead to improved behavior (Strong et al, 2005). It also proved that children engaging in regular physical activity were less likely to be presently overweight, in addition with the future when a follow-up survey was completed (Strong et al, 2005). For more information: http://nevadaahperd.com/info/specific_evidence.pdf.
 Existing Physical Activity Programs
1. SPARK (http://www.sparkpe.org/)
Project SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids Curriculum) aims to increase physical activity levels through modified physical education (PE) and classroom-based teaching on health and skill fitness (Sallis et al., 1999). Evidently, Project SPARK has proven to increase fitness levels in girls especially (Sallis et al., 1999). Since 1989, SPARK has represented a collection of exemplary research-based physical activities and nutrition programs (SPARK, 2014). SPARK has provided curriculum materials and the proper training to over 100,000 educators and youth leaders (SPARK, 2014). Interestingly, despite a significant increase in PE class time, there was no interference with academic attainment and various achievement test results had improved. A recent review of the literature suggests that school-based physical activity programs may moderately enhance academic performance in the short-term, however additional research is required to establish any long-term improvements (Taras, 2005).
The PLAY (Promoting Lifestyle Activity for Youth) program encourages students to accumulate 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily during regular school hours but outside of PE classes as well as beyond school time. Consequently, PLAY has been shown to increase the physical activity levels of children, especially among girls (Pangrazi et al., 2003). PLAY is implemented over the course of 12 weeks for 15 minutes each school day. The program is executed in 3 steps: promote play behavior, introduce teacher directed activities and encourage self-directed activity (Pangrazi et al., 2003). Organized and unorganized sports are optimal areas where children can increase their physical activity needs during school and outside of school. Additionally, children can engage in active transportation such as walking to and from school as well as participating in recreational activities outside of school to promote the concept of PLAY (Pangrazi et al., 2003). Guardians and caregivers should continue to encourage their children to be physically active on days when they are not participating in sports and to not only depend on sports to avert the risk of obesity. Overall, PLAY endorses participation in physical activity among the family, community and other figures within one’s life (Pangrazi et al., 2003).
NFL play 60 is a program designed to encourage children to get outside and be physically active for 60 minutes a day (NFL PLAY 60, 2014). The intentions of this program include getting kids active, whether it be at school or at home (NFL PLAY 60, 2014). Some concepts NFL PLAY 60 uses includes having an NFL player go to a school and educate the students on different ways to become active (NFL PLAY 60, 2014). In addition to educating during school hours, NFL PLAY 60 holds different events in which children can be active. One of these events includes a White House Easter egg hunt (NFL PLAY 60, 2014). During this hunt, children spend an entire day searching for eggs and being active, all while NFL players aid them in finding these eggs and also inform the children on the many different ways they can be active and stay fit. (NFL PLAY 60, 2014).4. participACTION (http://www.participaction.com/get-informed/physical-activity-guidelines/guidelines-for-parents/guidelines-for-parents-children-5-11/) (http://www.participaction.com/get-informed/physical-activity-guidelines/guidelines-for-parents/guidelines-for-parents-youth-12-17-years/)
Participaction promotes the idea of physical fitness for all ages, and it's guidelines are based on children aged 5-11 and 12-18 (Participaction, 2014). One important issue for a lack of exercising involves not being physically literate. This organization aids in promoting physical activity while providing physical literacy to all (Participaction, 2014). It gives detailed descriptions into categories on how often and how intense people with different physical fitness levels would be exercising (Participaction, 2014).5. Jump Start http://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/en/)
Jump start is an organization started by Canadian tire to help unfortunate youth who can not afford to be in organized sports (Jump Start, 2014). 1 in 3 kids cannot afford organized sports, which coincides with the 33% of the youth who are obese due to a lack of physical education and activity (Jump Start, 2014). Jump Start provides transportation, registration and equipment to the these children in order to aid them in becoming more fit (Jump Start, 2014). They teach kids how to play sports and how to get them involved in a variety of activities. Jump start has 73 different sports and/or recreational activities that children can select based on their interests and physical abilities (Jump Start, 2014).
6. Y Kids Fit (http://www.ymcaywca.ca/Children/aquatics/adaptedaquatics)
Y Kids Fit is a physical activity and nutrition program specifically designed for obese children aged 6-15 in order to help them establish an independent and healthy lifestyle (YMCA, 2014). It is a ten week program that uses many types of physical activity - such as weights, yoga, dance, aquatics, games, etc - to bring families together and to find ways to improve their child's physical health(YMCA, 2014). This program was created in response to the growing epidemic of obesity and inactivity in children, and involves the parents of the participant so they can help lead their child in a healthy lifestyle (YMCA, 2014).
7. Spin 4 Kids (http://www.goodlifekids.com/)
Spin4Kids is a one day indoor cycling event hosted at GoodLife Fitness Clubs across Canada, in support of GoodLife Kids Foundation. This is a fun, energetic event and NO EXPERIENCE is necessary. All children participating get a chance to interact, be physically active and ultimately, have fun doing it.
8. Duck Duck goose Children's Centre: After-school Program (http://activeafterschool.ca/program/duck-duck-goose-children%E2%80%99s-centre-after-school-program)
Allow your child to learn, play and develop essential social skills with activities including: Outdoor Play, Learn-While-We-Play Activities and Creative Imagination Building Activities.
9. Quality School Intramural Recreation (QSIR) (http://www.phecanada.ca/programs)
Intramural's are fun, inclusive and provide something for everyone! Quality School Intramural Recreation (QSIR) is designed to get children and youth excited about participating in physical activity (PHE Canada, 2014)! QSIR programs and initiatives help to enhance intramural and recreation programs in schools by providing resources and leadership skill development for students and teachers to lead intramural and recreation programs (PHE Canada, 2014). Through QSIR, we hope to see active intramural programs in all schools and post-secondary institutions. Quality school intramural programs are a fun and effective way to increase daily physical activity opportunities for children and youth!
 Best Practice Activity Suggestions
Best practice activity suggestions should include games that involve all children being physically active along with included and avoid games becoming awkward so children don't feel left out, thus leaving them uninterested in becoming physically active.
1. 3 on 3 Soccer
3 on 3 soccer is an ideal activity done all around the world because of the excellent benefits it has towards the amount of physical activity kids have, as opposed to limiting their activity in 11 on 11 soccer. With 3 on 3, all kids playing are included in the game of play, all kids are forced to now be active and all kids participating can progress into the sport. Just throwing children into a full soccer games is not an efficient way to develop skills and ultimately attain the recommended amount of activity, mainly because of the lack of skill and lack of inclusion.
Manhunt involves people starting off as "it", thus having to catch the others who are not. During this time, all children playing are either running from or running after one another. As more people become "it", the game begins to take longer as it is more difficult to catch the others. This game involves everyone being includes, as eventually everyone will be "it". This can keep children interested as it involves teamwork and strategy in order to avoid being tagged. Using a smaller area can involve even more strategy and more running as it leaves less places to hide and stand still.
3. Capture the flag
Capture the flag is a fun territorial game that involves each team having 2 territories. The object of the game is to capture the opposing team flag and bring it back to your territory. This game has no problem involving all children as one person is either running around trying to attain the other teams flag, or running around defending their own flag. If someone is tagged on the opposing teams side, they are now considered stuck there until another teammate runs to free them. To make this more challenging, making the territory area smaller leaves each player with less places to hide and more running to be involved. Each child can alternate on who defends and attempts to capture the flag, thus leaving it entertaining the entire time. Also, by being so entertaining, each child is left enjoying themselves, all while being physically active. Another addition to this game could be by getting caught you have to do some physical activity, such as push ups, leaving each child trying desperately to run faster and not be caught.
Doing a variety of simple exercises is a fantastic way to get children in shape and control their weight. Exercising with friends, as shown in the video, can keep getting fit fun and includes everybody involved. It also assures that children are able to work at their own pace and modify all exercises so they are easily doable.
5. Warm Up Games
Warm up games allow each individual to be active at their own pace, all while keeping them interested and active. A variety of warm up games can last anywhere from 10-20 minutes, thus slowly progressing children into being physically active and not putting a lot of pressure on them to jump into a game a be successful.
6. Circuit Games
By arranging multiple games for children to participate in all around a gym and or open area, each child can enjoy different games all while staying physically active. Each child can go from each game, staying active the entire time and staying interested, as each game brings a new challenge. Going through different circuit games will bring lots of physical activity and help in addressing the epidemic of obesity.
7. Team Sports
Team sports such as Hockey, rugby, basketball, football ect. are great ways to get children involved in activity. It gives them a support group and is also fun to participate in and develop skill within that area as the child ages. Starting children off in noncompetitive levels is key because this way the coaches are there to support each individual and help them develop skill, as well as make sure each is receiving the same amount of play time, ensuring that every child is equally involved.
Something as simple as tag is a great way to get the kids all moving. There are tons of variations that can be added to make the game a little different and have some other aspects of fun for the children. Such examples include freeze tag, toilet tag, link tag, and octopus, however the list is endless. These games get everyone involved and can be played with a wide range of group sizes in order to have full inclusion for everyone.
 Future Directions
The prevalence of overweight or obesity in children and youth within the United States is over 15.0%, a value that has tripled since the 1960’s (Ogden, 2003). Obesity has the potential to initiate numerous health problems among obese children including insulin resistance, type two diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, poor self-esteem, heart disease and a lower health-related quality of life, which is seen more commonly in affected children and youth (Rosenbloom, 2002; Schwimmer, 2003). In addition, up to 80.0% of obese children will continue this unhealthy trend into adulthood (Guo, Chumlea 1999; Whitaker et al., 1997). Obesity must be properly addressed during the early stages of growth in order to prevent many health concerns within one’s childhood and adulthood. Accordingly, obesity and other diseases can be avoided through routine physical activity during childhood. Since youth populations spend a majority of their time within educational institutions it is imperative for physical activity to be recognized and practiced during school hours. Furthermore, the most recent Canadian Health Measures Survey found that roughly 95.0% of Canadian children and young adults do not receive the recommended amount of physical activity that includes a minimum of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2013). Consequently, 31.5 % of children and youth are considered to be either obese or overweight (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2013). However, the most frightening statistic remains that only 22.0% of Canadian children receive daily physical education during school hours and only 8.0% to 65.0% of Canadian schools reported that they provide the recommended amount of 150 minutes of physical activity per week (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2013). In order to address the obesity epidemic and prevent an incline in obesity rates, schools must be addressed of this issue and employ physical education specialists. With knowledgeable specialists within elementary schools, students will become well educated and have access to various physical activity opportunities. Physical activity specialists will take a progressive approach to physical activity by gradually increasing the physical activity levels and eventually generating confidence among youth populations. Next, each school must have a variety of equipment readily available for students to utilize. A diverse range of equipment allows for more opportunities for children to excel and enjoy being physically active, which plays an important role in keeping children interested. To add, all activities performed must address an optimal level of challenge, while also maximizing inclusion. By doing so, all students can enjoy being challenged and not feel excluded, ultimately leaving them deprived of opportunities to engage in physical activity. Educational institutions that support and encourage physical activity have demonstrated effective improvements and have continuously increased levels of physical activity among students. Not only does physical activity improve one’s physical health, it has also been proven that roughly two thirds of Canadian students devoted to physical activity have improved their studies within math/science and reading/writing subjects (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2013). Through these statistics it is evident that schools should alter their environment to promote physical activity, improve children’s health, advance levels of education and most importantly prevent adverse health issues associated with obesity.
 External Links
Heart and Stroke Foundation http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.BF8B/Home.htm
SPARK Program http://www.sparkpe.org/
NFL PLAY 60 http://www.nflrush.com/play60/kids
Childhood Obesity Foundation http://www.childhoodobesityfoundation.ca/
Other Health Risks Associated With Obesity http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/extra_pounds_health_woes.htm
Y Kids Fit YMCA-YWCA http://www.ymcaywca.ca/
Jump Start http://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/en/
PHE Canada http://www.phecanada.ca/
Goodlife kids Foundation http://www.goodlifekids.com/
Canadian Active After School Partnership http://www.activeafterschool.ca/
 Notes and References
Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012). "Is Active Play Instinct?". Retrieved March 14, 2014. Available online. from http://dvqdas9jty7g6.cloudfront.net/reportcards2012/AHKC%202012%20-%20Report%20Card%20Long%20Form%20-%20FINAL.pdf
Akhtar-Danesh, N., Dehghan, M., &Merchant, A. (September, 2005). "Childhood Obesity, Prevalence and Prevention". Retrieved February 23, 2014. Available online at http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=a340664f-09c6-4723-a41a-c070a24c2fe5%40sessionmgr115&hid=105
(Canadian Associated for Health Services and Policy Research, 2014). History. CAHSPR ACRSPS. Retrieved 18:00, March 20th, 2014. Available online: (http://www.cahspr.ca/en/about/vision)
(Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2014). Childhood Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. Retrieved 21:15 March 17, 2014. Available Online. (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm) (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_bmi/about_childrens_bmi.html)
(Children and the Environment, December, 2013). Children's Environmental Health Centre. MountSainai. Retrieved March 18, 2014. Available online at http://www.mountsinai.org/static_files/MSMC/Files/Patient%20Care/Children/Childrens%20Environmental%20Health%20Center/NYS-Children-Environment.pdf
(David Anderson et al.,). Foundations of Canadian Physical Education, Recreation and Sport Studies, (Dubuque, Iowa: W. C. Brown, 1989), 102.
(Frank Cosentino and Maxwell L. Howell). Physical Education in Canada. (Toronto: General Publishing Co., 1971), 23-24.
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