May 11, 2007


Combating physical inactivity & obesity begins in preschool

TORONTO, May 7: Young children across Ontario are getting active at the JiggaJump Alive! concerts, featuring Juno Award-winning children's entertainers, Judy & David.

JiggaJump uses music to engage young children in fun, physical activities to help plant the seeds for a lifetime of active, healthy living. These high energy events provide an opportunity for children, parents, caregivers, schools and community leaders to be physically active together, while reinforcing the importance of physical activity with children (and families) in educational, community and home settings.

"Through policy directives such as Daily Physical Activity in elementary schools, we are seeing an increased commitment toward physical activity promotion for children in Ontario," said Elio Antunes, Executive Director, Ophea. "The JiggaJump Alive! concert tour provides a unique and innovative opportunity to build upon this momentum for our youngest children and enrich their bodies and minds during their earliest stages of development."

JiggaJumpAlive! will get three-to nine-year old children up and moving in the following cities: Guelph, Cobourg, Brampton, Orillia, Hamilton, Toronto, Lindsay and North Bay. The concert tour is based on the new JiggaJump CD and Leader's Guide, now being used in thousands of Ontario schools and Early Years Centres.

JiggaJump is the creative product of All Together Now Entertainment Inc. (Judy & David), developed and delivered in partnership with Ophea.

Funding for JiggaJump was provided by the Ministry of Health Promotion through the Communities in Action Fund.


Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio as predictors of cardiovascular events: meta-regression analysis of prospective studies.

de Koning L., Merchant A.T., Pogue, J., & Anand S.S. (2007). Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio as predictors of cardiovascular events: meta-regression analysis of prospective studies.
Eur Heart J, 7, 850-856.

Aims: The objectives of this study were to determine the association of waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with the risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and to determine whether the strength of association of WC and WHR with CVD risk is different.

Methods and results: This meta-regression analysis used a search strategy of keywords and MeSH terms to identify prospective cohort studies and randomized clinical trials of CVD risk and abdominal obesity from the Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases.

Fifteen articles (n = 258 114 participants, 4,355 CVD events) reporting CVD risk by categorical and continuous measures of WC and WHR were included.

or a 1 cm increase in WC, the relative risk (RR) of a CVD event increased by 2% (95% CI: 1-3%) overall after adjusting for age, cohort year, or treatment. For a 0.01 U increase in WHR, the RR increased by 5% (95% CI: 4-7%).

These results were consistent in men and women. Overall risk estimates comparing the extreme quantiles of each measure suggested that WHR was more strongly associated with CVD than that for WC (WHR: RR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.55-2.44; WC: RR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.31-2.04), although this difference was not significant.

The strength of association for each measure was similar in men and women. Conclusion WHR and WC are significantly associated with the risk of incident CVD events. These simple measures of abdominal obesity should be incorporated into CVD risk assessments.


Economic value of walkability
This paper uses standard economic evaluation methods to investigate the value of walking (the activity) and walkability (the quality of walking conditions, including safety, comfort and convenience).

Current transportation planning practices tend to undercount and undervalue walking. More comprehensive analysis techniques, described in this paper, are likely to justify increased investment and support for walking.

International charter for walking
Provides a good summary of the arguments for sidewalks.

Neighborhood walking guide
Reasons sidewalks are important.

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