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: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

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

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

14 hours ago

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

21 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.