Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Obesity Rates Triple in Canada

More than one in five will be obese by 2019, study says

  • Print

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Like their neighbors to the south, Canadians are getting fat.

A new study reports that obesity rates in the country tripled in less than three decades, and estimates that more than one in five Canadians will be obese by 2019.

Researchers reviewed health surveys dating back to 1985. By 2011, they found 18 percent of Canadians were obese, up from 6 percent in 1985. People older than 40 were more likely than younger people to be overweight or obese, the researchers found. They also noted a significant increase in the percentage of severely obese Canadians.

Almost 36 percent of people in the United States are obese, meaning they have a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Obesity rates increased in all Canadian provinces, but some had larger increases than others, according to the study, which was published online March 3 in the journal CMAJ Open.

Obesity rates were lower in the west and higher in the east, with the highest rates in Newfoundland, Labrador and New Brunswick.

Obesity is categorized as class I, class II and class III, with class III being the most severe. During the study period, rates of class III obesity rose 433 percent.

"Although class I obesity appears to be increasing at a slower rate in Canada, the rate for the higher classes of obesity continue to increase disproportionately, a finding consistent with other studies," the researchers said in a journal news release.

"These results raise concern at a policy level, because people in these obesity classes are at a much higher risk of developing complex care needs," they noted.

Overall, 21 percent of Canadians will be obese by 2019, but the rates will vary from a low of nearly 16 percent in British Columbia to a high of nearly 35 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the study.

Obesity poses serious long-term health risks, such as diabetes and heart disease. The annual cost of obesity in Canada is estimated at between $4.6 billion and $7.1 billion, according to Dr. L.K. Twells, an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, and colleagues.

The researchers said further research is needed to determine how best to reduce Canada's obesity rate and to find out why obesity rates vary so much in different parts of the country.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about overweight and obesity.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Christmas Cheer Board hamper kickoff

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the federal government force band chiefs and councillors to disclose their salary information?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google