Baby boomers' bad habits
In the 1970s, Canadians went from couch potatoes to super jocks. Well, not quite. But at least during that decade they did start to get up and get fit. It was thanks to nagging TV ads, the example of an active prime minister and embarrassment compared to some very robust Swedes. But the nagging hasn't been entirely successful. Thirty years later the average Canadian is still overweight and spends more time on the sofa than at the gym.
And the Heart and Stroke Foundation has the proof in numbers: 80 per cent of Canadian children don't get enough fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, baby boomers' babies have learned these habits from their parents. The postwar generation watches too much TV and eats too many potato chips. Now Canadians are 20 per cent fatter than they were two decades ago, with half the nation classified as overweight.
• A 2001 Ipsos-Reid poll discovered almost half the country supported a "fat tax" on unhealthy foods like pop, chips and Big Macs. Canadians surveyed also said kids should be taught physical education and nutrition.
• Americans already charge a fat tax. Tax on soft drinks bought in California, New York and Texas rakes in $600 million annually.
• Arkansas charges two cents on each can of pop to finance health insurance for the poor.
• A hidden fat tax is already charged on Canadian junk food. Provincial governments slap sales tax on snacks, while grocery store foods like fruit and dairy products are tax-exempt.
• The 2001 poll found Quebeckers were most in favour of a fat tax. Alberta, one of the country's most fit provinces, was the least in favour.
• A 1993 study by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute discovered Atlantic Canadians and Quebeckers exercise the least.
• The most active Canadians are more often young professionals who are single and educated. People in the West are more active than those in the East.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Feb. 3, 1998
Guest(s): Lance Levy, Monica Martinez
Reporter: Lynne Robson
Last updated: August 29, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Machine helps break down stomach fat.
In 1958 most adults don't exercise and children with "TV legs" fail fi...
RCAF exercises performed for 11 minutes a day are ideal for both the c...
The sudden death rate climbs as lazy Canadians sit in front of the boo...
A Stockholm professor says Canadians are in bad shape.
In 1975, police recruits get physical.
A woman exercising at a Montreal fitness club is addicted to the gym.
People on the street comment on their level of physical fitness.
A Manitoba high school makes daily exercise compulsory.
Celebrated ad campaign is lots of fun to write.
Politicians join in a nation-wide exercise competition.
Baby boomers' babies have bad habits just like their parents.
Government cuts mean the non-profit fitness agency may have to call it...
It's 1984 and Canadians are becoming 'downright maniacal' about exerci...
In the 1970s, Canadians went from couch potatoes to super jocks. Well,...