Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

A Critical Review of Chilhood Obesity

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As a graduating undergraduate in RSS, an article I would recommend reading is:

Prentice-Dunn, H., & Prentice-Dunn, S. (2012). Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and childhood obesity: A review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Psychology, Health & Medicine. 17(3), 255–273.

Childhood obesity is an important disease that is becoming more prevalent in Canada. More than 30% of children in Canada were reported to be overweight and obese in 2010 which is doubled compared to previous years. With current trends, obesity among children is said to go upwards to 70% by 2040. Due to this increasing issue, much research has been done to identify the causes and try to prevent the disease from growing.

As a kinesiology student, I feel I have a right to be a part of the group to facilitate change, whether that is with physical activity, nutrition, sport, or overall health and wellness initiatives. Childhood obesity is a topic I am most passionate about because it one of the number one reasons to premature death. Many people do not realize how to exercise, or eat healthy, and I think by combined informative prevention initiatives as well as physical activity programs targeted to the child that need it most, the community can start to change.

The article I reviewed involved a critical analysis of the topic of childhood obesity. The article was a review of the literature over the past ten years throughout 17 cross-sectional studies. The article focused on the dose-response relationship between physical activity and sedentary behaviours to overweight and obesity among children ages 2-19 to include all ages of children and youth. Results throughout the research showed there was a strong link between higher physical activity levels and a reduced risk for obesity in both girls and boys. Also many of the studies reviewed the most popular sedentary activities that contribute to the issue, which are television and video games. The article also highlights the importance of caloric intake due to increased accessibility to unhealthy foods and the media. In summary, the article shows that there is a strong link with obesity to physical activity and nutrition that is supported in a number of studies within the past decade. With this information, I feel that I am more aware of the issue of childhood obesity and its importance to prevent such a disease from spreading even more.

In order to stop obesity, more awareness is needed in our community considering that the province of New Brunswick is among the highest percentage of overweight and obese people in Canada. I think that prevention starts with awareness and beyond that we as a community should be putting more effort to create programs to target this issue and provide for health related information that can be easily understood and accessible so that everyone can have the skills and knowledge needed to change the outcomes and prevent this disease.

by Emily Underhill

Interesting video

  • This video shows the extent of the disease and it highlights the connection between physical activity levels and healthy eating to reach a combined healthy weight. This video discusses the major issues revolving our community which is the fast food which is becoming more easily accessible and it also makes it easier to consume a lot of calories.


  • The ad below is a campaign that is used in Atlanta, Georgia to aid in combating childhood obesity. This shocking obesity campaign was created to do exactly that, “shock” the world with how severe the issue really is and although there has been a lot of criticism about this ad, I feel that maybe Canadians need a “wake- up call” like this to really understand the severity of the issue and to put in more effort to prevent it.

childhood obesity

For more information on how to get more physically active and to tips on eating healthy, visit the recommendations on the Government of Canada website.


Childhood Obesity Foundation. (2014). Retrieved on April 4th, 2014 from

Crowe, K. (September 2012). CBC News: Health. Retrieved on April 4th, 2014 from

Grinberg, E. (February 7th, 2012). CNN Health. Georgia’s child obesity ads aim to create movement out of controversy. Retrieved on April 4th, 2014 from

Government of Canada. (2013). Kids: Childhood Obesity. Retrieved on April 4th, 2014 from

Han, J. C., Lawlor, D. A., & Kimm, S. Y. S. (2010). Childhood Obesity. The Lancet, 375(9727), 1737-48. Retrieved on April 4th, 2014 from

Prentice-Dunn, H., & Prentice-Dunn, S. (Eds.). (May 2012). Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and childhood obesity: A review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Psychology, Health & Medicine. 17, 3, 255–273. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2011.608806








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