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The Globe and Mail

Obesity rates climb in Canada and U.S., but Canadians remain slimmer

A new Statistics Canada study suggests one in four Canadian adults is clinically obese, compared with one in three in the United States.

The study, released jointly with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, says 24.1 per cent of adults in Canada were obese between 2007 and 2009. In the U.S., the figure was 34.4 per cent.

More interestingly, the study compared today's rates to those measured between 1986 and 1994 and found that while both nations became more obese over the decades, we gained weight at roughly the same rate, leaving the gap between skinny Canadians and fat Americans relatively stable.

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The prevalence of obesity in Canada increased by about 10 percentage points for men and eight for women; in the U.S. it climbed by 10 percentage points for men and 12 percentage points, respectively.

Among Canadian men, 24.3 per cent met the definition of obesity, compared with 32.6 per cent of their American counterparts.

The gap was even wider among women: 23.9 per cent of Canadian women were considered obese, compared with 36.2 per cent in the U.S., meaning that Canadian women are now about as obese as American women were 20 years ago.

Among men in both countries, the increase was highest among those aged 60 to 74, while in women, obesity increased the most among those aged 20 to 39.

With files from Globe Staff

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