Physical Inactivity Pandemic - Evil of the Century
QUEBEC CITY, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The idea to produce a documentary was inspired by a 2014 article published in Maclean's magazine, which touted Quebec as one of the areas with the lowest levels of obesity in North America.
TALK Encounters, a Quebecois firm, is currently producing a documentary illustrating the growing problems caused by physical inactivity in today's youth. In the United States, over 36% of children under 12 years old suffer from obesity. We find the culprit to be physical inactivity and not junk food.
Karl Andre Talbot of TALK Encounters has been marketing advisor to the administrative counsel of PHIT America for the past 5 years. Recently, TALK Encounters has produced a series of films and videos for PHIT America. This American NPO has been devoted to fighting chronic inactivity in children throughout many schools for over 7 years now. PHIT America has offered GO Grants to over 600 schools rebuilding PE and other physical activity programs helping over 300,00 children become much more physically active. Recent studies have shown that by incorporating a daily physical activity (60 minutes/day) in schools, a striking impact is observed not only in the physical health of students, but also on their academic results, as well as their attention in class and the need for medication related to hyperactivity. PHIT America even managed to get the Personal Health Investment Today Act(PHIT Act) passed by the US House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress.
According to the WHO, if the situation does not change, more than 55% of the American population will be obese in 2045. Canada is not immune either. The financial burden of healthcare related expenses, medications, increase of illnesses, absenteeism and poor performance at work, are issues that could potentially devastate the economy.
Despite an increase in the obesity rate in Canada, Quebec has one of the lowest obesity rates in North America. The determining factor is undoubtedly the regular practice of physical activity in school settings and extra-curricular activities. Measures taken by the Quebec government, as well as campaigns such as Le Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie (LGDPL) achieve very positive results which fully represent the exact values that PHIT America promote to the American government.
Investing in physical activity programs for all schools demands sustained and well-choreographed efforts from numerous partners, both public and private. It is essential to apply efficient and valuable strategies and follow them diligently, as doing so is a major investment in our future. It is noteworthy to mention that only one quarter of 1% of the American military budget would suffice to finance all American schools to counter and even reverse the problem. Unfortunately, less than 50% of American schools receive assistance to favor physical activity in youths. As far as so-called elite schools, the annual budget is less than $800.00/school. What more is there to say?
The producers of TALK Encounters want to use implemented Quebec fitness strategies as a model to eradicate childhood obesity. Many Canadian/Quebecois and American athletes will bear witness to the impact that access to physical activity in school settings had on them. The documentary, currently in production, is set to premiere in 2020. It will be presented at different international film festivals, which will serve as our launching platform to demonstrate that our children's obesity is, in large part, avoidable. It is up to each and every one of us to make the required efforts to put in place school politics that favor the practice of physical exercise.