The bad news is that almost one-third of Canadian children are either overweight or obese, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.
The good news is that despite the scary news stories we've been seeing about couch-potato kids, the percentage of tubby children hasn't increased in the last decade.
Figures from StatsCan's Canadian Health Measures Survey of about 2,100 children found that, using criteria set out by the World Health Organization, some 31.5 per cent of children aged five to 17 years old were carrying too much weight.
The figures, based on data from 2009 to 2011, found 19.8 per cent were overweight and 11.7 per cent were obese.
By comparison in 2004, 21.4 per cent were overweight and 13.3 per cent were obese.
"The percentage who were overweight was similar across age groups," the report said. "However, the prevalence of obesity differed between boys and girls (15.1 per cent versus eight per cent), most notably at ages five to 11, among whom the percentage of boys who were obese (19.5 per cent) was more than three times the percentage of girls who were obese (6.3 per cent)."
The report's authors noted that excess weight in childhood has been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, poor emotional health and diminished social well-being (by which I guess they mean more likely to be picked on). Obese children also tend to grow into obese adults, they add.
"Although these estimates have not changed significantly in recent years, more data points are needed to determine if the pace of increase in prevalence is slowing, as has been observed in some countries," the report concludes.
"Regardless, the estimates remain high and are a public health concern, given the tendency for excess weight in childhood to persist through to adulthood."
[ Related: Are you making your kids fat? ]
The factors associated with excess weight in children are complex, the report said, including health behaviours such as eating habits and daily physical activity, as well as broader social, environmental and biological determinants that influence these behaviours.
CBC News medical contributor Dr. Karl Kabasele said the popularity of processed foods makes it easy to get calories and children do spend a lot of times playing video games and watching TV.
"So all of these factors are kind of conspiring against kids despite our best efforts," he said.
"The medical community has to work hand in hand with parents, with the food industry, with government regulators to figure out the best way to kind of reduce this obesogenic environment that kids are growing up in."