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  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 08, 2014 06:00 am

BUTTONS BURSTING – A new study out of Memorial University shows that obesity rates in Canada have tripled in less than 30 years.
BUTTONS BURSTING – A new study out of Memorial University shows that obesity rates in Canada have tripled in less than 30 years.
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Driving and dementia presentation

People who want to know more about what dementia is, how it affects driving and what to do when you lose your driving privileges, can attend a free presentation next week.

A talk on driving and dementia put on by the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network and the University of Alberta’s Medically At-Risk Driver Centre will be held at the St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre on Wednesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Other topics the talk will touch base on is the difficulty that individuals with dementia and their family members face when having to move from the driver's seat to the passenger seat.

There will also be reference to the importance of having support not only from families, but also in the community to help people stay mobile when they can no longer drive.

“It’s geared towards individuals with dementia, their families or any interested individuals,” said Bonnie Dobbs, director of the driver centre.

Dobbs and Tami Brodeur, mental health co-ordinator at the primary care network, will hold a Q&A session after the presentation.

It will be held in the boardroom of the volunteer centre located at #10, 215 Carnegie Dr., St. Albert.

The presentation precedes the start of the weekly driving cessation support group at the St. Albert 50+ Club. The start date has been pushed back to Wednesday, March 19.

Renos underway at PCN

Effective immediately, the St. Albert and Sturgeon PCN at 20 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue will be closed for major renovations.

Classes offered by the network have been moved to the St. Albert 50+ Club located at 7 Taché St. The majority of PCN staff have been temporarily relocated to the network’s Morinville office.

“Patients receiving PCN services will be notified of the site change ahead of time, and given a number of options including the option to wait for service if they are unable to travel to Morinville,” said Brian Jackson, executive director of the PCN, in a letter to stakeholders.

The Morinville satellite office is located at: Suite 114, 9918 – 100 St.

The Grandin site is scheduled to reopen April 1.

Obesity rates on the rise

Obesity rates in Canada have tripled in less than 30 years says a recently-published study from Memorial University in St. John's Newfoundland.

Using data from both provincial and national health surveys, the study found that, between 1985 and 2011, obesity rates surged from six per cent to 18 per cent in adults over the age of 18 (not including those in long-term care).

Researchers based the findings on body mass index measurements from self-reported heights and weights. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher and is divided into three subsequent classes – obesity class three is a BMI 40 and over and is on the extreme end of the spectrum.

Researchers found that, since 1985, the prevalence of obesity in all classes has increased, with the greatest increase occurring in the excessive weight classes.

Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick had the highest rates of obesity, while B.C. and Quebec had the lowest.

By 2019, they predict that about 21 per cent of the Canadian adult population will be obese, with higher rates in Eastern Canada than Western Canada.

Given the provincial variation in obesity prevalence, researchers suggest some provinces may be more successful at implementing strategies aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and weight-management behaviours.

They conclude that there should be a focus on evaluating existing policies, programs and approaches to the prevention, management and treatment of obesity.

One of the limitations of the study was that it was based on self-reported heights and weights, which people tend to underestimate and overestimate, respectively. “The analysis provides conservative estimates of the current and future predicted prevalence of obesity in Canada,” the paper states.


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