National fitness day proposed

B.C. senator Nancy Greene Raine and MP John Weston call for action to stop "epidemic of obesity" among youth

Senator Nancy Greene Raine watches Olympic ski event at Whistler with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

A B.C. Senator and MP are calling for the first Saturday in June to be proclaimed National Health and Fitness Day, to help reverse what they call an “epidemic of obesity” among young people.

Senator Nancy Greene Raine introduced a bill in response to statistics that show one out of three Canadian children are overweight or obese, and only 12 per cent get enough physical activity. Canada’s Public Health Agency calculates that health care for obesity-related cardiovascular and diabetes treatment already costs $7 billion a year.

The bill encourages local governments and private organizations to hold community events to promote fitness. West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast MP John Weston began working on the idea three years ago, and he said 68 communities have signed on so far.

“Our goal is to increase the number of municipal governments that proclaim National Health and Fitness Day to 300 by June of 2014,” Weston said.

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