Queen's-led program tackles obesity in Mexico
With support from Queen’s University, Mexico launched its first child physical activity report card, designed to call much-needed attention to childhood physical inactivity and obesity.
The report card, which mirrors the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, is the final project of the Canada and Mexico Battling Childhood Obesity (CAMBIO) program led by Ian Janssen, professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Juan Lopez Taylor of the University of Guadalajara.
“We are trying to facilitate change,” says Dr. Janssen when asked about both the report card and the entire CAMBIO project. “Hopefully this report card will be disseminated widely. It is an accountability tool that will hopefully stimulate government, the education sector and industry within Mexico to devote more resources to physical activity and obesity.”
On the report card, Mexican children received an average grade for physical activity, a very poor grade for the level of obesity (about 4.5 million children in Mexico are obese), an average grade for the amount of time spent in front of a screen, and a poor grade for the level of physical activity in school. Overall, Mexico received a good grade for policies and programs aimed at increasing physical activity within the country.
Due to a lack of data, no grades were assigned for participation in organized sport, active transportation and family physical activity levels. “More research is needed in those areas. We are highlighting the gaps in knowledge to direct future research.”
Five year funding for CAMBIO was provided by a Teasdale-Corti Grant from the Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI), a collaborative research funding partnership of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian International Development Agency, Health Canada, the International Development Research Centre and the Public Health Agency of Canada.