Eggleton sweats to '80s pop
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.
• Studies also blame sedentary pastimes like video games and television. A 1996 World Health Organization study found that 25 per cent of Canadian children watch at least four hours of television a day.
• The study also discovered girls are less active than boys, and become even more inactive as they approach adulthood.
• Another WHO study in 2000 found that fewer than one third of youth in industrialized and developing countries are sufficiently active. More than half of Canada's 5 to 17 year olds are so sedentary that they risk improper growth and development.
• In 2001, the British Medical Journal reported that obese people are more likely than smokers to encounter health problems.
• In the United States, 51 per cent of students opt out of physical education class if given the choice. Children in China are also becoming inactive, with 18 per cent classified as "sedentary."
• In 2002, Statistics Canada said the government spends about $3 billion in medical care for out-of-shape Canadians. Forty-six per cent of the country is overweight and 15 per cent are obese. The federal government launched a study that same year to "understand the root causes of this epidemic."
• Obesity Canada defines "obese" as having a body fat content greater than 25 per cent for men and 30 per cent for women.
• Doctors define "morbidly obese" as over 45 kilograms (100 pounds) heavier than one's ideal weight.
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: May 25, 1988
Guest(s): Art Eggleton
Reporter: Bill Harrington
Last updated: May 6, 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.
It's 1984 and Canadians are becoming 'downright maniacal' about exerci...
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...
In the 1970s, Canadians went from couch potatoes to super jocks. Well,...