Public Health

Americans Are Even Fatter Than Canadians

Caloric French Canadian comfort food: poutine. i i

Caloric French Canadian comfort food: poutine. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com
Caloric French Canadian comfort food: poutine.

Caloric French Canadian comfort food: poutine.

iStockphoto.com

Sure, we Americans eat badly and don't exercise enough. But I figured, naively, that we might still have an edge over the Canadians, considering all the poutine (cheese curds, gravy and fries) in Quebec and Tim Hortons' doughnut shops from coast to coast.

Nope. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just put out a report that shows it's not even close. About one-quarter of Canadians are obese compared with more than one-third of Americans. There's more than a 10 percentage point difference overall.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index greater than or equal to 30, and the data come from a three-year period ending in 2009.

About 27 percent of Canadian men are obese compared with 33 percent of American men.

And then there's the American woman, immortalized by those Canadian rockers The Guess Who. South of the border, obesity runs about 36 percent among women compared with about 24 percent up in Canada.

People in both countries have gotten fatter since the late 1980s.

CDC researcher Cynthia Ogden, a co-author of the report, said the gap between the countries is hard to explain, the Toronto Sun reports. "I really think it's interesting to look at why it's so much higher in the United States," she said. "We share a border. What's going on?"

Hockey? Just a thought.

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