Canada is typically thought to be a relatively healthy country. There are tons of healthy restaurants and healthy food trends, as well as a large variety of fitness studios and ways to work out. Plus, according to the Government of Canada, the average life expectancy for the country is 82 years, which makes Canada one of the healthiest countries in the world, in that respect.
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But the facts can show quite the opposite. The actual data is shocking: 67 percent of Canadians are either overweight or obese. Not only that, obesity rates have doubled in the past 30 years. In 2014, 28 percent of all Canadians were obese but back in 1978, 14 percent of the Canadian population was obese. These findings are alarming, to say the very least.
This problem is not just in Canada. According to the Government of Canada, obesity is an issue worldwide for people of all ages and is currently at epidemic levels. This is alarming on several levels because obesity is linked to several chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
So why is obesity on the rise in Canada? There isn't a single answer, but there are several different factors in play, according to the Government of Canada. Obesity can be influenced by aspects such as biology, behaviour, lifestyle, mental health or demographics. To find out more information and details behind the obesity levels in Canada, check out the Government of Canada's public health data here.
The obesity rate varies across the country. The areas with the lowest obesity rate (which is 18.85 percent or less) are mainly parts of British Columbia and Quebec, whereas the regions with the highest rates (37.59 percent or more) are primarily in parts of northern Saskatchewan, northern Manitoba and Labrador. The overall obesity rate in Ontario is dominantly
Obesity, an unhealthy diet and low physical activity are linked to diabetes. According to the Government of Canada, there have been some concerning trends with the health of Canadians recently. Their report, Health Status of Canadians 2016, read that "over a relatively short period of time, the proportion of Canadians living with diabetes has almost doubled from 6% in 2000 to 10% in 2011."
To stay healthy and prevent becoming overweight or obese, a good diet and physical exercise are key. The Government of Canada reported in 2017 that unfortunately, only 22.2 percent of Canadian adults are active enough. The current recommended amount of exercise per week in Canada is 150 minutes.
Just a few tips to stay healthy: if you're not into the gym, there are tons of different fitness options to get your workout in. Check out this article for a list of unique ways to get fit that don't require going to the gym. A fun and effective way to reach your fitness goals is to get a workout buddy, so why not enlist your BF or BFF to keep each other on track?
As for a healthy diet, a balanced meal is super important. Canada's Food Guide recommends getting a balance of vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat/protein. Also, fast food may be cheap and easy to get, but next time you want to grab it, keep in mind that it's not necessarily the best for your body.
We hope that obesity rates will start to drop instead of rising in the upcoming years. To find out more information about the obesity data and research in Canada, you can visit the Data Blog from the Government of Canada.