Letters: Obese Children, Rats & Bugs

It's mail day again. Today we talk more about the 1.6 million children in Canada who are overweight or obese... a figure that has tripled in the last 25 years. Last week we heard about one proposal that advocated putting children into foster care in extreme situations. Also, we share some of your best bug stories and hear more about the rat eradication program on Gwaii Haanas.

Part Two of The Current

Letters: Obese Children, Rats & Bugs

Thursday is mail day on The Current and producer Nicola Luksic joined guest host Jim Brown in studio to lend a hand with letters. Let's get to the mail.

Child Obesity

There are an estimated 1.6 million children in Canada who are overweight or obese ... a figure that has tripled in the last 25 years. And while schools eliminate junk food and health guidelines recommend more exercise, an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week argued for some extreme measures to combat the extremes of obesity. In cases where all other resources have been exhausted, the article advocated putting children into foster care.

Dr Yoni Freedhoff is an obesity expert and founder of the Bariatric Medical Institute. Monday on The Current, he outlined his support of the idea. And today, we heard lots more in the mail from you.

In the UK, the practise of removing extremely obese children from their homes has been in place for several years now. On Monday we also heard from Tam Fry, a spokesperson for the UK's National Obesity Forum and Chair of the Child Growth Foundation.

While in Britain the removal of extremely obese children from their homes is seen as a valid option, it's a practice Peter Dudding would not want to see in Canada. Peter Dudding is the CEO of the Child Welfare League of Canada. He joined us today from his cottage in Plevna, Ontario.


Moving on to other mail. Islands are ecosystems unto themselves and any foreign element can disturb or even destroy the fine balance of the system. One of the most destructive predators introduced onto islands is the rat ... and Tuesday on The Current, we heard about a conservation movement to save species by eradicating rats.

Here in Canada there's a war against rats brewing in Gwaii Haanas.... some of Canada's most remote and rugged islands, off the coast of British Columbia. A bold conservation project is about to get underway. The goal is to protect endangered species from a predator ... the rat. Rats are wreaking havoc on the island and its wildlife. So, beginning August first, Parks Canada officials, together with the Haida Nation, will set out to kill every rat on Gwai Haanas.

Laurie Wein is the Resource Conservation Manager for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site .... and the project manager for the rat eradication program on Gwaii Haanas. She was on the line from the park, which is on Haida Gwaii off the BC coast.


Finally for this morning... depending on how you look at it, it's been a good year for bugs ... or a very bad one. But regardless of how epic your encounters with black flies or mosquitoes have been this summer, your bug stories have nothing on Amy Stewart's. Amy Stewart is the author of Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army and other Diabolical Insects. And last Friday on The Current, she took us to the extremes of the bug world.

And this inspired some itchy, icky bug stories from you. Today we listened to some of the best from our voicemail.

And with a final ode to a rat, before we go, we left you with a classic ditty from Monty Python. Maybe a bit of inspiration for what can be done with all those rats soon to be eradicated from Gwaai Haanas... Rat pie anyone?

Last Word - Mail Call

And as always, if you have anything you want to say about what you hear on this program, we'd love to hear it.

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