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US leads in obesity stakes

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It's official: US adults have the edge in the heavyweight stakes over their Canadian counterparts, with the 2007-9 figures showing "the prevalence of obesity among adults in Canada is lower than it is in the United States".

That's according to a study which took data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey, 2007–2009; the Canadian Heart Health Surveys, 1986–1992; and the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994 and 2007–2008, to conclude that "the prevalence of obesity in Canada was 24.1 per cent, over 10 percentage points lower than in the United States (34.4 per cent)".

Regarding gender, the figures show that "among men, the prevalence of obesity was over 8 percentage points lower in Canada than in the United States (24.3 per cent compared with 32.6 per cent) and among women, more than 12 percentage points lower (23.9per cent compared with 36.2 per cent)".

There's more detailed analysis on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, but here's a further unsurprising snippet from the study: "Between the late 1980s and today, the prevalence of obesity increased significantly in both the United States and Canada."

The CDC notes: "American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful* foods, and physical inactivity."

It adds: "Policy and environmental change initiatives that make healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity available, affordable, and easy will likely prove most effective in combating obesity." ®

Bootnote

* Or "unhealthy", as we prefer to put it.

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