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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Health - Obesity

Relevance

Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic illnesses, particularly heart diseases and diabetes. Although a variety of factors contribute to obesity, physical activity and dietary practices help prevent obesity.

The obesity indicator is based on the Body Mass Index (BMI), a commonly used measure of obesity. In 2011, Statistics Canada published a measure of BMI, based on self-reported weight and height, and in 2008 one based on actual measures of weight and height. The obesity indicator uses the reported weight and height, unless otherwise indicated. BMI is calculated for Canadians 18 years of age and older.

Summary

  • National Picture — In 2008, 37% of Canadian adults were measured as overweight, and 25% as obese. In 2005, 35% were measured as overweight and 24% as obese.
  • Gender — More men were overweight or obese than women in 2011.
  • Age — In 2011, those aged 45 to 64 had the highest self-reported overweight or obese rate at 60%. 
  • Youth — A larger proportion of boys were overweight or obese than girls in 2011.
  • First Nations — For on-reserve First Nations in 2002-2003, adult women had higher rates of obesity than adult men.
  • Regions — In 2011, the overweight rate was the lowest in Brtitish Columbia (30%). British Columbia also had the lowest obesity rate (14%). Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest overweight rate (40%), and obesity rate (29%).
  • International Picture —  Recent data for G7 countries (2009 and 2010) showed that the percentage of the population that was overweight or obese was the lowest in France and the highest in the United States. Canada ranked third highest.

National Picture

In 2008, a large proportion of Canadian adults were measured as overweight (37%) or obese (25%), and 36% were of normal weight. there was a slight increase from 2005 when 35% were measured as overweight and 24% as obese.

A comparison of actual measured BMI data with self-reported BMI data shows that people tend to underestimate their weight and/or overestimate their height. According to self-reported BMI for the same year, 47% of Canadians were of normal weight, 34% were overweight, and 17% were obese.


This Chart contains data for Body Mass Index (BMI), Canada, 2005 and 2008. Information is available in table below Obese (Measured 2008) = 25 Obese (Measured 2005) = 24 Overweight (Measured 2008) = 37 Overweight (Measured 2005) = 35 Normal Weight (Measured 2008) = 36 Normal Weight (Measured 2005) = 39 Underweight (Measured 2008) = 2 Underweight (Measured 2005) = 2 (percent) Body Mass Index (BMI), Canada, 2005 and 2008

Source: Statistics Canada. Measured adult body mass index (BMI) by age group and sex , household population age 18 and over excluding pregnant females, Canada (excluding territories) (CANSIM table 105-0507). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2009.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Body Mass Index (BMI), Canada, 2005 and 2008 (percent)
UnderweightNormal WeightOverweightObese
Measured 20052393524
Measured 20082363725

A person's weight generally increases with age. Age-standardized rates are therefore used to compare obesity over time. Self-reported BMI data that are age-standardized to the 1991 Canadian Census population suggest that the rate of obesity increased from 14.9% in 2003 to 17.7% in 2011.


Gender

In 2011, more men were overweight or obese than women. The self-reported BMI data show that 40% of men and 27% of women were overweight, and 20% of men and 17% of women were obese.


This Chart contains data for Overweight and obese, by gender, 2011. Information is available in table below Obese (Women) = 17 Obese (Men) = 20 Overweight (Women) = 27 Overweight (Men) = 40 (percent) Overweight and obese, by gender, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Health indicator profile, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2011 boundaries) and peer group (CANSIM table 105-0501). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Overweight and obese, by gender, 2011 (percent)
OverweightObese
Men4020
Women2717

Age

In 2011, the BMI data show that the proportion of people considered overweight generally increased with age. Those aged 65 years and over had the highest rate at 39%. Obesity also increased for those between 18 and 64 years of age. In 2011, 13% of the population between 20 and 34 years old was considered obese, compared with 22% for those aged 45 to 64. The obesity rate declined after the age of 65 to 18%.


This Chart contains data for Overweight and obese, by age, 2005. Information is available in table below Obese (65+ years) = 18 Obese (45-64 years) = 22 Obese (35-44 years) = 20 Obese (20-34 years) = 13 Obese (12-19 years) = 7 Overweight (65+ years) = 39 Overweight (45-64 years) = 38 Overweight (35-44 years) = 34 Overweight (20-34 years) = 27 Overweight (12-19 years) = 17 (percent) Overweight and obese, by age, 2005

Source: Statistics Canada. Health indicator profile, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2011 boundaries) and peer group (CANSIM table 105-0501). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Overweight and obese, by age, 2005 (percent)
OverweightObese
12-19 years177
20-34 years2713
35-44 years3420
45-64 years3822
65+ years3918

Youth

In 2011, the BMI data show that for youth aged 12 to 17, 24% of boys were overweight or obese, compared with 17% of girls. Among girls, 83%  were neither overweight nor obese, compared with 76% of boys.


This Chart contains data for Youth Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2011. Information is available in table below Overweight or obese (Girls 12-17 years) = 17 Overweight or obese (Boys 12-17 years) = 24 Neither overweight nor obese (Girls 12-17 years) = 83 Neither overweight nor obese (Boys 12-17 years) = 76 (percent) Youth Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Health indicator profile, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2011 boundaries) and peer group (CANSIM table 105-0501). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Youth Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2011 (percent)
Neither overweight nor obeseOverweight or obese
Boys 12-17 years7624
Girls 12-17 years8317

First Nations

In 2002-2003, about one quarter of First Nations people living on-reserve had normal BMI (based on self-reported information), at 25% for men and 27% for women. A higher percentage of men (42%) were overweight than women (32%). Women had higher rates of obesity (40%) compared with men (32%).  


This Chart contains data for On-reserve First Nations Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2002-2003. Information is available in table below Obese (Women) = 40 Obese (Men) = 32 Overweight (Women) = 32 Overweight (Men) = 42 Normal weight (Women) = 27 Normal weight (Men) = 25 Underweight (Women) = 1 Underweight (Men) = 1 (percent) On-reserve First Nations Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2002-2003

Source: Calculations by HRSDC based on First Nations Centre. First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) 2002/2003. Ottawa, FNC, 2005.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

On-reserve First Nations Body Mass Index (BMI), by gender, 2002-2003 (percent)
UnderweightNormal weightOverweightObese
Men1254232
Women1273240

Regions

A person's weight generally increases with age, reflected in a higher BMI. Because provinces and territories have different age structures, overweight and obesity rates need to be age-standardized to a standard population in order to make meaningful comparisons.

Self-reported BMI data that are age-standardized to the 1991 Canadian Census population suggest that in 2011, the percentage of the overweight population ranged from 30% in British Columbia to 40% in Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, obesity varied from 14% in British Columbia to 29% in Newfoundland and Labrador.


This Chart contains data for Overweight and obese, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below NU (Obese) = 28 NU (Overweight) = 36 NT (Obese) = 26 NT (Overweight) = 33 YT (Obese) = 17 YT (Overweight) = 37 BC (Obese) = 14 BC (Overweight) = 30 AB (Obese) = 19 AB (Overweight) = 33 SK (Obese) = 21 SK (Overweight) = 37 MB (Obese) = 21 MB (Overweight) = 37 ON (Obese) = 18 ON (Overweight) = 33 QC (Obese) = 16 QC (Overweight) = 32 NB (Obese) = 24 NB (Overweight) = 33 NS (Obese) = 22 NS (Overweight) = 37 PE (Obese) = 22 PE (Overweight) = 32 NL (Obese) = 29 NL (Overweight) = 40 CAN (Obese) = 18 CAN (Overweight) = 33 (age-standardized percent) Overweight and obese, by region, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Health Indicator profile, age-standardized rates annual estimates, by sex, Canada, provinces and territories (CANSIM Table 105-0503). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Overweight and obese, by region, 2011 (age-standardized percent)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
Overweight3340323733323337373330373336
Obese1829222224161821211914172628

 


International Picture

Based on recent data (2009 and 2010), the percentage of the population that was overweight or obese in G7 countries ranged from 36.7% for women and 49.9% for men in France to 56.1% for women and 70.2% for men in the United States. Canada ranked third highest at 42.3% for women and 58.9% for men.


This Chart contains data for Overweight and obese, G7 countries, 2009 and 2010. Information is available in table below United States (2010) (Women) = 56 United States (2010) (Men) = 70 Germany (2009) (Women) = 43 Germany (2009) (Men) = 60 Canada (2010) (Women) = 42 Canada (2010) (Men) = 59 Italy (2010) (Women) = 37 Italy (2010) (Men) = 60 France (2010) (Women) = 37 France (2010) (Men) = 50 (percent) Overweight and obese, G7 countries, 2009 and 2010

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). OECD Health data 2012. OECD Statistics. Available from: Health: Key Tables from OECD [cited October 2012].


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Overweight and obese, G7 countries, 2009 and 2010 (percent)
France (2010)Italy (2010)Canada (2010)Germany (2009)United States (2010)
Men5060596070
Women3737424356

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Date Modified:
2014-09-18