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Health Survey Disappoints

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An article from the Toronto Sun published on July 17, 2005 by Fran Berkoff provides information and feed-back on a health survey’s results. The Canadian Community Health Survey revealed some startling information on the obesity problem in Canada: across all age groups from 2 to 34 at least doubled in obesity rates in the last 25 years (since 2004). Berkoff offered a few solutions based on a few of the main preventative measures, diet and exercise, such as daily walks on the beach or increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.  

The Toronto Sun was established in 1971 originally named the Toronto Telegram that, according to a PMB in 2005, has more than 1.2 million readers. The paper is a member of the Ontario Press Council as an accountability partner and liaison between the public and the newspaper. Fran Berkoff is a health and nutrition columnist for the Toronto Sun and C-Health. She has nine years of experience and publishes about two columns per week. The target audience is the newspaper’s readers but is specifically focused on those who are obese or at-risk, providing preventative tips and statistics with the scope of the problem.

Berkoff does is skilled at giving definitive and reliable statistics coupled with common sense advice and a reasonable answer to the “what does this mean for me?” question. The Toronto Sun is a reputable and responsible newspaper but does not have the credibility of journals. However, the sources used in the article fill the research gap and provide an adequate synopsis. The main weaknesses are that the article is about six years old and it pertains mainly to Canada. Therefore, it will be useful for grasping and writing on the extent of the problem in other parts of North America but not for a more focused topic concentrating on the United States.

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