Obesity in Canada is a growing health concern, which is "expected to surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality … and represents a burden of Can$3.96 (US$4.16/€2.85) billion on the Canadian economy each year."
According to Forbes, Canada ranks 35 on a 2007 list of fattest countries with a percentage of 61.1% of its citizens with an unhealthy weight. In children, obesity has substantially increased between 1989 and 2004, with rates in boys increasing from 2% to 10% and rates among girls increasing from 2% to 9%.
A 2004 study called the Canadian Community Health Survey, found 23% of Canadians 18 and older were obese and 36% more were overweight (as determined by body mass index). In children and adolescents, 8% were obese and 18% overweight. Rates of obesity varied significantly between the province, from an obesity rate of 19% in British Columbia to a rate of 34% in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 2004, the prevalence of obesity in the two most populated provinces, Ontario and Quebec, matched those of about thirty US states, at a level between 20% and 25%. The study found people that live in cities (Census Metropolitan Areas) had significantly lower obesity rates in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. In Quebec the relationship approached significance (p=0.8), while in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan the rate of obesity did not vary significantly between CMAs and rural areas.
A 2005 report released by the Canadian government's Economics Division reported that "In 2004, approximately 6.8 million Canadian adults aged 20 to 64 were overweight, and an additional 4.5 million were obese. Roughly speaking, an adult male is considered overweight when his body weight exceeds the maximum desirable weight for his height, and obese when his body weight is 20% or more over this desirable weight. A similar guideline holds true for women, but at a threshold of 25% rather than 20%. Dramatic increases in overweight and obesity among Canadians over the past 30 years have been deemed to constitute an epidemic."
- Eisenberg, Mark J.; Renée Atallah, Sonia M. Grandi, Sarah B. Windle, and Elliot M. Berry (2011 Sep 20). "Legislative approaches to tackling the obesity epidemic.". CMA Journal 183 (13): 1496–500. doi:10.1503/cmaj.101522. PMID 21540168.
- Lauren Streib (February 8, 2007). Forbes "World's Fattest Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- Lau DC, Douketis JD, Morrison KM, Hramiak IM, Sharma AM, Ur E (April 2007). "2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in adults and children [summary]". CMAJ 176 (8): S1–13. doi:10.1503/cmaj.061409. PMC 1839777. PMID 17420481.
- Shields, Margot; Shields, Margot; Tjepkema, Michael (August, 2006). "Regional differences in obesity". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- "The Obesity Epidemic in Canada, July 15, 2005".