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Highlights

Adult obesity in Canada: Measured height and weight

  • In 2004, nearly one-quarter (23.1%) of adult Canadians, 5.5 million people aged 18 or older, were obese. An additional 36.1% (8.6 million) were overweight.
  • The 2004 obesity figure was up substantially from 1978/79, when Canada’s obesity rate had been 13.8%.
  • As body mass index (BMI) increases, so does an individual’s likelihood of reporting high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Obese individuals tend to have sedentary leisure-time pursuits and to consume fruits and vegetables relatively infrequently.
  • Canada’s adult obesity rate is significantly lower than that in the United States: 23.1% compared with 29.7%.

Overweight Canadian children and adolescents

  • In 2004, 26% of Canadian children and adolescents aged 2 to 17 were overweight or obese; 8% were obese.
  • For adolescents aged 12 to 17, increases in overweight and obesity rates over the past 25 years have been notable; the overweight/obesity rate of this age group more than doubled, and the obesity rate tripled.
  • Children and adolescents who eat fruit and vegetables 5 or more times a day are substantially less likely to be overweight or obese than are those whose fruit and vegetable consumption is less frequent.
  • For children aged 6 to 11 and adolescents aged 12 to 17, the likelihood of being overweight or obese tends to rise as time spent watching TV, playing video games or using the computer increases.
  • Canadian adolescent girls are significantly less likely than American adolescent girls to be overweight/obese.

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Date modified: 2005-07-06 Important Notices