Thank you, and thank you for participating last night in the debate.
Reversing the trend in childhood obesity is very important. The World Health Organization declared last year that obesity is a global epidemic now—not tomorrow—today.
As you've mentioned, it will require action from all sectors of society, all levels of government, the private industry, the communities, the families, and individuals. I'm very happy to say that all these groups were at the summit I hosted this past month.
We recognize that we all have to work together, and that was the key point at the summit. I am therefore happy to say that Canada's ministers of health made the commitment to also work together with other sectors of society to address the issue of obesity.
The summit was another important step in creating the conditions that will help children, youth, and their families achieve healthy weights. It was an important step in continuing our efforts to take action across sectors to reduce childhood obesity in Canada. It followed the dialogue held last year, “Our Health Our Future: A National Dialogue on Healthy Weights”, which engaged Canadians in a conversation about approaches to tackling the obesity challenges we face.
The summit also challenged us all to think outside the box. We laid out the foundation of new ways to promote healthy weights. We owe it to our children and our youth to give them the healthiest possible start in life. This conference was historic, but I can say that there are great initiatives occurring across the country, in partnership with provincial and territorial ministries, in addressing the epidemic of obesity that we are seeing in Canada. This conference was the first of its kind to address that very important issue.