Study: US has much higher obesity rate than Canada

Mar 02, 2011 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- American adults have a significantly higher rate of obesity than their neighbors to the north, a new study says.

About 24 percent of Canadians are obese compared to more than 34 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. study released Wednesday.

Researchers looked at height and weight data taken in surveys in both countries during 2007-09.

The two countries have different racial demographics. The United States has more black and Hispanic people, and both have higher rates of obesity. But even looking solely at white people, there was still a big difference - a 26 percent obesity rate in Canada compared to 33 percent in the United States.

It's not clear why that is, said study-co-author Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

"We share this border and many other things. It's a question we need to investigate more," said Ogden, whose co-authors included a researcher at Statistics Canada.

Another mystery: In children there was little difference. The rate was 15.5 percent in the United States and 12 percent in Canada, but the difference was not statistically significant.

This study is the first time the CDC has compared American with another country. The report adds to a growing pile of studies that show Americans are less healthy than people in other developed nations.

For example, a 2006 Harvard Medical School study found that Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have , and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis.

That study, based on telephone interviews rather than actual measurements, found about 21 percent of Americans said they were obese, compared with 15 percent of Canadians. That finding suggests Canadians and Americans share one characteristic - they tend to understate their heft.

Explore further: New Dominican law OKs abortion if life at risk

More information: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

City living keeping obesity in check

Aug 23, 2006

A new study says Canadians who live in big cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver tend to weigh less than their rural counterparts.

Obesity rates continue to climb in the United States

Jul 10, 2007

The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.