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Kelowna: fittest in Canada

The obesity epidemic continues to grow in this country and new numbers released Wednesday by Statistics Canada show that one in four Canadians are overweight.

StatsCan used a self-reported survey of body mass index (BMI) results that are a relative measure of height and weight. It found 24.8 per cent, or one in four Canadians, are obese – that means they have a BMI of more than 30.

The number of obese Canadians has risen 17.5 per cent since 2003.

Residents living in BC (20.4 per cent) and Quebec (22.8 per cent) had obesity rates below the national average and Kelowna was singled out for having the lowest rate in the country (17 per cent).

In fact, BC had three of the top six lowest rates in Canada:

  • Kelowna, British Columbia, 17.0%
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, 17.4%
  • Victoria, British Columbia, 19.6%
  • Toronto, Ontario, 20.2%
  • Québec, Quebec, 20.9%
  • Montréal, Quebec, 21.5%.

On the other end of the spectrum, Saint John New Brunswick was given the distinction of having the highest obesity rate in Canada.

  • Saint John, New Brunswick, 38.1%
  • Greater Sudbury, Ontario, 33.8%
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, 33.2%
  • Brantford, Ontario, 32.1%
  • Hamilton, Ontario, 31.3%
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 31.3%
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario, 30.7%.

The report also found that men (26.1 per cent) are more obese compared to women (23.4 per cent). But the numbers are similar through the 20-34 year old age group and they only begin to show significant differences from ages 35-44.

According to the same report, obesity is best described as a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that a person’s health may be adversely affected.

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