by celine.m on February 22, 2015 - 11:05pm

In todays society everything that is news today will be old news tomorrow. Technology for example evolves instantaneously. However as swift as mankind is progressing, the one thing that is not improving worldwide is our health.  With the constant growth of fast food chains worldwide, researchers have found that obesity rates have proliferated worldwide. According to Lancet, a medical journal, no nation has taken the proper precautions in order to "slim down" their population for the past thirty years. The neglect of living a healthy lifestyle has resulted in 30% of the world population to be classified as obese. If this trend continues half of the world’s adults will be obese by 2030.More needs to be done in order to reduce these numbers. We can’t leave this situation inadequately managed by diets and sporadic exercises. . More needs to be done by the government to reverse the obesity trend and citizens need to change their habits. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, in 2012 attempted to reduce the size of sugary drinks sold in the city. This supports my point that governments and citizens need to work together in order to combat this obesity epidemic. Articles from the Conference board of Canada, from CBC news and from EL Nuevo Dia, suggest ideas that can be incorporated to control obesity.


 The statistics illustrated in an article from the conference board of Canada, clearly shocked me. Quebec has always given themselves a good review concerning the health of the overall population. However, we must not be fooled. Compared to other Canadian provinces, Quebec ranks in the middle of the pack when evaluated on their overall health and are ranked on the top of the list for mortality rates due to heart diseases and strokes.  Quebecers could do a lot more to keep themselves healthy and Quebec can reduce their economic burden of chronic diseases by investing in measures of prevention. In 2030, Quebec could reduce their economic burden health care for its population of 7.7 million if people adopted a healthier lifestyle.


As shocking as this may seem, the following statistics cannot be globally applied. In Japan for instance, their obesity rates are exceedingly less than Quebec. According to an article published in CBC news, the main difference is that Japanese have found it highly important to educate their children on nutrition. Japan’s Education Ministry, Mitani, declares “the government was able to stabilize the problem through early recognition and an aggressive approach to food education in Japan’s public school system”. In fact, a home economics course has become obligatory in every school from grades five to twelve."If I didn't learn how to cook in school, I think I'd be eating instant noodles or frozen food. I don't think I'd be cooking for myself," says Takahashi, a student taking the home economics class. The student concludes that these classes have given him the ability to make healthier choices. After reading the following article, I have found that even though the report had been written by a Canadian source, they thoroughly encourage Japanese practices. In my opinion, the author of this report used the method of comparison to draw the reader’s attention to the problem. By informing us on a major subject that is less significant in another county, encourages us that actions can be applied to diminish obesity in our beautiful province of Quebec. 

Other countries such as Puerto Rico are implementing fees and reprimand parents who cease to care of their children’s health. EL Nuevo Dia, a Puerto Rican newspaper, explains that if this bill is approved school teachers will have to report to social workers and counselors of an obesity case. The issues will then be taken in hand by The Health department to talk with the parents and to determine whether or not the child’s obesity is linked to poor eating habits or health issues. The parents will be given a health program to follow and the health department will make regular visit to determine if the child is improving. If no results or efforts to improve the child's health, the parents will be fined 500$ to 800$.


This goes to say that things can be done in order to reduce oobesity in our world.  These measures taken in Japan and Puerto Rico prove that it is possible to control these soutness rates.  We need to take action and work together in order to combat obesity and to improve the population’s overall health.






Nerman, Danielle. What’s the secret to Japan’s slender population? Serious “eating education.” CBC News. CBC News. January 12th 2015.Web. Sunday February 22nd 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/what-s-the-secret-to-japan-s-slender-population-serious-eating-education-1.2894221

Arroyo, Marga Parés. Multas a padres de niños obesos. El Nuevo Dia. El Neuvo Dia. Monday, February 9th 2015. Web. Sunday February 22nd 2015.


Sharma, Arya. New obesity guidelines fall short, expert says. The Globeandmail. The Globeandmail.Tuesday, January 27th 2015.Web. Sunday, February 22nd 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/new-obesity-guidelines-fall-short-experts-say/article22647752/

Conference Board of Canada. Quebec Ranks in the Middle of the Pack on Population Health. The Conference Board of Canada. The conference board of Canada. February 12th 2015.Web. Sunday, February 22nd 2015. http://ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1655087018?accountid=44391


I believe what japan is doing concerning the health of its citizen is important as it equips people with the knowledge of cooking and making healthy choices. One of the main issue here in Quebec as you have mentioned is the high consumption rate of fast food and lack of exercise. The Heart and Stroke foundation tries to teach good eating habits, but also to exercise. If you would like to participate in such activities you can volunteer by calling the office closest to you on their official website: http://www.heartandstroke.qc.ca/site/c.pkI0L7MMJrE/b.3660925/k.718C/Queb...