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A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

June 2008

Sedentary behaviour and obesity

by Margot Shields and Mark S. Tremblay

Over the past 25 years, the prevalence of obesity in Canada has increased substantially among people of all ages. Understanding the causes of this trend is critical for the establishment of effective population-level interventions.

Screen time among Canadian adults: A profile

by Margot Shields and Mark S. Tremblay

Substantial increases in the prevalence of obesity over the past 25 years underscore the importance of identifying and understanding behaviour correlates of obesity. A recent study of adults based on data from the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) found evidence that screen time (time spent viewing television and using computers) was positively associated with obesity, inactive leisure time and a poor diet.

May 2008

Estimates of obesity based on self-report versus direct measures

by Margot Shields, Sarah Connor Gorber and Mark S. Tremblay

Population health surveys often base estimates of the prevalence of obesity on calculations of body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of weight in relation to height. Since the mid-1990s, Statistics Canada's two major health surveys, the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and the National Population Health Survey (NPHS), have generally relied on respondents to report their weight and height and used these data to estimate BMI.

Effects of measurement on obesity and morbidity

by Margot Shields, Sarah Connor Gorber and Mark S. Tremblay

Numerous studies from around the world have documented associations between excess body weight and a wide range of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer. In these studies, it is common practice to use body mass index (BMI) categories to examine health risks of excess weight. BMI is a measure of an individual's weight in relation to height and is a simple way of measuring excess weight in population health surveys.

Correlates of medication error in hospitals

Kathryn Wilkins and Margot Shields

Accumulating evidence from Canada and elsewhere indicates that, during their hospital stay, an appreciable number of patients experience adverse events, such as medication error, injurious falls, nosocomial infection, and other "medical misadventures." A recent Canadian study reported that medication- or fluid-related error was second only to surgical error as the most common type of such incidents.

April 2008

Changes in the prevalence of asthma among Canadian children

by Rochelle Garner and Dafna Kohen
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in childhood, and its prevalence is increasing in many countries, including Canada. This article picks up where previous examinations of childhood asthma have left off. Based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), changes in prevalence rates among children aged 0 through 11 are examined from 1994/1995 through 2000/2001, by asthma severity, and by child and family socio-demographic factors.  


Community belonging and self-perceived health

by Margot Shields

Over the past 25 years, research has established a causal association between social relationships and health. People who are socially isolated and have few ties to other individuals are more likely to suffer from poor physical and mental health and to die prematurely.

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