CANADIAN TEENS TOO FAT, STONED, SAYS STUDY A disturbing number of Canadian teens are fat, lazy, eat poorly and smoke too much pot, according to a World Health Organization report. At first glance, a comprehensive study of more than 150,000 young people from 35 countries suggests Canada is a nation of physically fit, computer literate teenagers in generally good physical and mental health. But John Freeman, one of the major Canadian contributors to Health Behaviour in School-aged Children, suggests all is not as it might seem. Freeman is part of a team of researchers from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., who shared in the report, which is conducted every four years and interviews 11-,13- and 15-year-olds in Canada, the U.S. and nearly all European countries. Canada prides itself on its level of physical activity and, with our teens ranking in the top five countries for physical activity at all age levels, that pride appears to be legitimate. Our young people also rank extremely high when it comes to computer use. They were asked if they used a computer for three hours during the week. Their answers left 11-year-olds ranked sixth, 13-year-olds third and 15-year-olds second. On the weekends, Canada rose to first place in the two older categories. So why, asks Freeman, are our youngsters among the most obese among the 35 countries? We sit sixth most obese among 13-year-olds and fourth among 15-year-olds, where the U.S. leads the list. "This is high and seems to represent a strange juxtaposition with the physical activity figures because we also have adolescents being more sedentary in terms of the numbers of them using computers three or more hours a day," he says. "We are right near the top in that category and mid-range for TV watching. So, they are more sedentary, more physically active and more obese. What's happening here?" Health Canada provided some of the funding for the report. Aggie Adamczyk, a department spokesperson, said they're particularly interested in the obesity, tobacco and cannabis figures and would be looking at ways to address the problems. The report shows more Canadian 15-year-olds have used cannabis in the past year than in any of the other 35 countries. About 37 per cent of girls and 43.3 per cent of boys admitted using cannabis, more than double the average.