April 18, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Resource Coordinator

1. MEDIA (Some interesting ideas and initiatives)

Manitoba makes phys-ed compulsory in high school
The news (Wed 11 Apr 2007) reports that Manitoba's high school students will head back to gym class in 2008 — whether they want to or not. The provincial government announced Tuesday that physical education and health education will become a required part of the curriculum for grades 11 and 12, starting in September 2008.

In addition to traditional gym classes, students will be able to earn the phys-ed credit for taking part in intramural sports, school teams and community-based activities, such as fitness workouts or other organized exercise. Out-of-class physical activities will require teachers and parents or guardians to sign off on them and activities off school property must be supervised by community-based coaches or instructors.

New Canadian guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity
The first-ever Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) on the Management and Prevention of Obesity in Adults and Children, published April 10, 2007 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), recommend that waist circumference be measured in all Canadian adults, and that a national surveillance system be developed that incorporates this measurement along with height and weight.

The executive summary of the CPGs will appear as a supplement to the April 10, 2007, issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


Waist-to-height ratio is an accurate and easier index for evaluating obesity in children and adolescents
Y. Weili, B. He , H. Yao, J. Dai, J. Cui, D. Ge, Y. Zheng, L. Li, Y. Guo, K. Xiao, X. Fu, & D. Ma, School of Public Health, Xinjiang Medical University, 8 Xinyi Rd. Urumqi 830054, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China.

Objectives: The study aims to evaluate the accuracy of the index of waist-to-height ratio (WHTR), and proposed the optimal thresholds of WHTR in the definition of childhood overweight and obesity in a bi-ethnic Chinese school-aged population.

Research methods and procedures: Overweight and obese were identified by BMI for age and gender in a random sample, including 2055 Han and 2132 Uygur ethnic school-aged children (eight to 18 years old). WHTR was calculated by waist circumference divided by height on the basis of standard anthropometric measurements.

Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed to assess the accuracy of WHTR as a diagnostic test for childhood overweight and obesity, compared with waist circumference. The optimal thresholds of WHTR for defining overweight and obesity were recommended respectively by gender. The correlation between WHTR and age was analyzed and compared with BMI.

Results: A-values (area under curve) of WHTR for diagnosing overweight and obesity were both over 0.90 in both genders and better than those of waist circumference. A threshold of 0.445 was identified for overweight in both genders, with the sensitivity and specificity >0.80. The thresholds for defining obesity was 0.485 in boys and 0.475 in girls, both having the sensitivity and specificity >0.90. WHTR showed less association with age than BMI.

Conclusions: WHTR is a simple, easy, accurate and non-age-dependent index with high applicability to screening overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. The use of WHTR in the general childhood population has been justified by this study.


Fitness programs: Staying motivated
Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answer yes, you're not alone. Many people start programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly. Here's help for staying motivated.

Health and social benefits of recreation
It looks like a version of the CPRA benefits catalogue from a California perspective

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada position statement: Schools and physical activity

Heart healthy kids physical activity handbook
This program was created to help elementary teachers incorporate physical activity into their daily classroom schedule. Activity habits developed early in life can carry over into adulthood and this program places emphasis on reducing inactivity and increasing daily participation in moderate activity.

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