The prevalence of obesity in Canada has tripled since 1985, when 6.1 per cent of Canadians had a BMI above 30. In 2011, that number had reached 18.3 per cent. The rise isn’t expected to slow down.
The results come in a newly published analysis of Canadians in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The paper also predicts by 2019, only five years from now, that in half of Canada’s provinces there will be more overweight and obese individuals than there are regular weight individuals. Numbers were higher in maritime provinces than on the western provinces. Nova Scotia had the highest rate of obesity in Canada with just over one quarter of the population being rated as obese.
The increase has been linked with decreasing rates of exercise, more jobs desk jobs and an increase in fast food consumption.
Nova Scotia fared worst in the analysis, with 37.5 per cent of the population being rated as overweight, compared to 33.6 per cent national average.
Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and B.C. were the five healthier provinces, with a huge increase in the percentage of normal weight citizens in the 18-39 age group in P.E.I.
Still, the trend does seem to be that all across the country the prevalence of obesity will rise in the coming years.
Canada ranks towards the top of OECD countries for rates of obesity, behind all European countries except for Britain.