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Teaching kids about weight and exercise

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Une pilule une petite granule is a very informative French television show, which airs weekly on Télé Québec. Dr George Lévesque is one of the hosts. With statistics in Quebec showing an increasing rate of overweight children in the province, this show is a offering solutions.

In Quebec, one out of three young woman under the age of nine has tried to lose weight. It is imperative to understand that the goal is to teach children and parents eating habits, as opposed to dieting. In fact, dieting is not recommended at a young age, since they are still growing.  

Last week's show covered the case of a mother dealing with her daughter's struggle with weight. She has been considered overweight since kindergarten and has suffered discrimination and rejection from her peers. Her mother discusses her situation and explains the steps she took to overcome her daughter's weight problems.

She joined an organization called GEPEEQ, from Shawinigan, which is a group of specialists with a great mission. Their goal is to teach families with overweight children about nutrition and fitness.
The mother felt a great deal of support, as she sensed her daughter could easily blend with other kids. They are bonding as a family and are developing a sense of community as well. They're all attending cooking classes, as well as nutrition classes (link to episode in French).

Danielle Danault, founder of Cardio Plein Air, based in Longueuil is all for active families. When asked how she would increase the kids fitness level, she answered simply : 'Start as young as possible'. Cardio Plein Air has 35 franchises in Quebec. Danault is the one who initiated the movement of Cardio poussette (Cardio Stroller), the class in which mothers push their baby in the stroller, while working out. She has seen many mothers coming back, over the years, along with their toddler. She says kids will make it a habit to be outside moving, if they are exposed to sports at a young age. Do not wait too long. 'Once they hit the teen years, it's almost impossible to get them to move. We've tried!', says Danault. For more information on the classes Cardio Plein Air offers, go to their website. 


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