Friday, April 4, 2008

Young Canadians smoke and bully less, but obesity rates still a concern: report

TORONTO — Fewer young people are involved in bullying, hooked on tobacco or spending as much time in couch-potato behaviour compared with a few years ago, says a new report on the physical and emotional health of Canadian youth.

But while there's reason for optimism, says the Public Health Agency of Canada's report released Wednesday, certain lifestyle behaviours among Canadians in their pre-teen and early-teen years continue to raise concern.

On the good-news front, principal author William Boyce of Queen's University said bullying has declined slightly among the 9,500 Grade 6 to 10 students from across Canada who participated in the 2006 study on which the report is based.

"Bullying is still high in the sense that it's too high - almost 40 per cent of students report having been bullied over the past year - but it has decreased from 2002, when it was about 43 per cent."

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