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Health and fitness of young people: what is the role of sport?
  1. Margo Mountjoy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margo Mountjoy, IOC Medical Commission, Dept of Family Practice, McMaster University, Waterloo EWFHT, 175 Alma Street, Rockwood, Ontario N0B 2K0, Canada; mmsportdoc{at}

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President Rogge in his opening address at the Olympic Movement in Society Congress in Copenhagen, 2009, expressed his concern over the health of young people globally and the importance of the role of sport in society in addressing the issue: In the late 1800s, de Coubertin worried that youth in his native France were turning away from physical activity. Today, we see the same problem in the growing rate of youth obesity throughout the world. . . We are here to make sure that the Olympic Movement will continue to serve athletes, the world's youth and society at large for decades to come.1

One of the themes during the Olympic Movement in Society Congress was ‘Olympism and Youth’. Following the presentations and discussions in Copenhagen on this theme, Recommendation #51 was proposed as guidance for members of the Olympic Family: <#51> Everyone involved in the Olympic Movement must become more aware of the fundamental importance of physical activity and sport for a healthy life style, not least in the growing battle against obesity, and must reach out to parents and schools as part of a strategy to counter the rising …

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