It's time to take action on child and youth health

Report examines the state of child and youth health in Ontario and the H&PE curriculum

TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's 21st century students are still using a 20th century health and physical education curriculum … and it's taking a toll on their health. Today Ophea released a report which highlights the critical state of child and youth health. The report also emphasizes the potential impact that the full release and implementation of the revised health and physical education (H&PE) curriculum could have on this alarming situation.

"The revised H&PE curriculum, if fully released and implemented, has the potential to reach 2.1 million children and youth in Ontario," says Chris Markham, Ophea's Executive Director and CEO. "While we all have a role to play in helping our youth lead healthy, active lives, the most logical place for the change to begin is in our school system, with the H&PE curriculum."

The report addresses five key areas related to child and youth health: physical activity, substance use, sexual health, healthy eating and mental health. Each section highlights health issues and challenges facing our children and youth, and emphasizes the ways in which the revised Ontario health and physical education curriculum could help to address them.

"It is the responsibility of the Government of Ontario to provide educators with a current, up-to-date curriculum that addresses the needs of today's students, and reflects best practices in instruction," states Dr. James Mandigo, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University, and President of the Ophea Board of Directors. "This is especially true in H&PE, given the ever-changing world in which we live. The revised curriculum needs to be fully released and implemented. Our children and youth don't have time to wait."

Ophea has gathered support for this report and the release and implementation of the revised H&PE curriculum from over 25 organizations, including the Council of Ontario Directors of Education, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, Ontario Teachers' Federation, ParticipACTION and Public Health Ontario.

Members of the public are encouraged to download a copy of the report at www.ophea.net/timetomove, where they can also access an online petition and tools to help them express their support for the full release and implementation of the H&PE curriculum to their MPP.

About Ophea
Ophea is a not-for-profit organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy. Ophea's vision is that all children and youth will value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. To learn more about Ophea visit www.ophea.net

SOURCE: Ophea

For further information:

Contact:
Melanie Slade Morrison
Marketing and Communications Manager
melanie@ophea.org
w: 416-426-7034
c: 905-691-0201