Getting the message?

Statistics Canada is hinting that Canadians may be turning the corner in the battle of the bulge. A study released this week found that while we're still putting on weight — overall — we're not putting on as much as we used to.

Between 2000/01 and 2002/03, men between ages 18 and 64 plumped up by about 2.5 pounds. Women carried an extra 2.24 pounds on average. Over the next two years, we continued to add some weight — but substantially less (1.6 pounds for men and 1.25 pounds for women).

Sounds like good news — but it's not that good. It's like the rate of inflation. As long as there is inflation, prices are rising — life is getting more expensive.

More of us may be maintaining a stable weight — even dropping a little extra baggage — but on the whole, Canada's still getting fatter.

We may be shunning the smokes and cutting out the trans fats — but we're taking in substantially more calories than we were just 13 years ago.

The other troubling thing is that this survey leaves out the kids. And over the past couple of years, there's been no good news on the childhood obesity front. Over the past two decades, rates of overweight and obesity have nearly tripled among Canadian children, according to a report released by the Canadian Institutes of Health Information. The report's authors also note that four out of five Canadian kids aren't active enough to meet international guidelines for optimal growth and development.

And the Canadian Medical Association reported recently that the average kid spends three to five hours a day watching TV. The association noted that obesity rates among six- to 11-year-olds is up by 50 per cent and 40 per cent for youth 12 to 17.

Some of these kids will be old enough to be included the next time Statistics Canada looks at trends in weight change among Canadian adults. Tax breaks or not, will they tip the scale back the other way?