back to article Yanks outweigh Canucks: Official

It's official: US adults have the edge in the heavyweight stakes over their Canadian counterparts, with the 2007-9 figures showing "the prevalence of obesity among adults in Canada is lower than it is in the United States". That's according to a study which took data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey, 2007–2009; the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and the obesity index for England is?

    Or Germany?

    ElReg's obsession with American obesity is right up there, in my estimation, with its feelings for that wikileaks fellow, Julian whatever-his-trademarked-name-is.

    I see my share of overlarge Brits--- When I'm in England, or in transit. That very large fellow with his fat wife and overweight children in tow, boarding a flight to London, speaking with british accents – safe bet they're English.

    (And yes, some of us can even tell the difference between Aussies and Kiwis, South Africans, and Brits.)

    Pot. Kettle. Black. Are we done?

    1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

      Yeah yeah

      Whatever, fatty.

    2. CADmonkey
      Thumb Down

      Unless you've actually been to the U.S......

      ...then you simply haven't seen 'fat', and have no idea how cheap & nasty 'cheap food' can be.

      Great country*, friendly people**, and we always have a good time but the smell of fried donuts seems to be EVERYWHERE*. It comes to something when a Subway seems like the healthy choice for you & the kids. Come to think of it, the option of cheese sauce in restuarants is unnervingly ubiquitous. Best example: Applebees...Ordered steak, jacket potato and salad (and a Guinness - it's not all bad!) and had to decline some form of cheese for each item (but not the beer).

      Me? I have to run around in the shower if i want to get wet. :P

      * the places I've been to.

      ** those that I've met

      1. peyton?


        Dude, don't go to Applebee's. That's basically an upscale version of McDonald's :p

        To the point though, it can be *very* hard to eat out over here and eat healthy :(

      2. Phil 54

        "fried" doUGHnuts

        seems to be kinda redundant, bit like "baked" bread

    3. Chemist

      Re : and the obesity index for England is

      I think it's currently about 25% for adults. Depends on the definition. I'm assuming BMI ( for all it's faults !) >30

  2. Slartybardfast
    Dead Vulture


    I normally ignore the "where's the IT angle" comments, but this time...

    FFS ElReg, it must be a quiet day in hell today.

  3. lglethal Silver badge

    Whats the defintition...

    ... of obese in this study? I know a lot of farmers in my hometown who would probably officially count as obese, but in truth are far more healthy then most of there non-officially-obese neighbours.

    Oh and at what point does a beer gut suddenly punt you into obese territory?

  4. JaitcH

    The answer is obvious ... it's far bloody colder in Canada

    Canadians burn their excess calories off trying to keep warm, or chasing hockey pucks and shovelling snow. Often town bylaws require property owners to clear the snow off the side-walks in front of their properties, no doubt with exercise in mind.

    It frequently snows in June in Hurst and Geraldton, both in Ontario and both south of Hudsons Bay. Then by late October the winter starts in again.

    Still, it's a record that we are happy the Americans have laid claim to.

    PS: Could it be all that GM food they eat down south?

    1. Chemist

      Changed it for you

      PS: Could it be all that food they eat down south?

      Seriously the combination of even a little too much food combined with too little exercise is enough to explain it all. A single slice of bread needs a mile of walking to burn it.. Eat just 100 cals a day over what you need and thats 36500 cals a year and that's ~4.5kg of excess weight. & that's ~1.5 -2 BMI units (OK BMI is a poor measure).

    2. Robot

      I think it's the other way around...

      I was born in Montreal, Canada, and still live here. I tend to gain a few pounds in winter, and shed a few pounds in summer. Same with my wife. So I am not sure that your theory (that Canadians are less obese because of the cold climate) is true.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      A beer gut is fat

      The fat is deposited around the guts and other internal organs, not immediately under the skin.

      Accumulate too much of it and you're obese.

      Modus omnibus in rebus

  5. lee harvey osmond

    'Or "unhealthy", as we prefer to put it'?

    Hmmm. Unhealth food anybody? "Can I have some more cold grease on that please?"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I feel ill. Is it Friday yet?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    One could figure that out with images from a Spy Satellite!

    The USA is doing its part in the fight against Global Warming... larger shadows.

  8. Geoff Thompson

    Answer for AC

    In 2009, almost a quarter of adults (22% of men and 24% of women aged 16 or over) in England were classified as obese (BMI 30kg/m2 or over).

  9. fishman

    Racial Makeup

    The stats fom the CDC show that Blacks and Hispanics have higher obesity rates than whites. Non Hispanic whites had an obesity rate of 23.1%, compared to the Canadian rate of 24%.

    1. CADmonkey

      And your (non white-supremecist) point is?

      So the White yanks are unfairly seen as fatties because of all the coloured fatties? But the population of Canada contains more than enough 'non-whites' (even disproportionate numbers of fat ones) to take your argument behind the cowshed and shoot it.

      1. fishman
        Thumb Down

        PC police have arrived

        Asians make up a majority of the minority population in Canada. In the US, asians have 1/3 the obesity rate of Non-Hispanic Whites. I would not be surprised at all if the obesity rate for whites in Canada is higher than the overall obesity rate for all Canadians as a result.

        So, if we try to compare similar populations between Canada and the US, you see that the obesity rate isn't all that different. Which is not surprising since most Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border.

        If trying to compare similar groups makes one a "white supremecist", then the CDC must be a group of white supremecists to group the obesity data that way, and polling organisations must be white supremecists for breaking down voting blocks by race.

  10. Mike Shepherd

    "Obesity 8% less in Canada than in the US"

    Sounds like a desperate bunch of Canadians if they were forced to this comparison, like a mass-murderer pleading mitigation because "Attila the Hun was far worse".

  11. Tom 7 Silver badge

    BMI is bollox anyway.

    I'm 6'5" and around 20 stone. Thirty years ago that exact setup could run a marathon in under 3 hrs. Now but as fat as a yank and cant get out of the pub in under 3 hours.

    Same BMI though.

    Cant we have a more meaningful measure like how many pencils/mice/mars bars we can hide in the folds.

    1. Chemist

      Not exactly

      but it's certainly rather poor. Very fit, muscular athletes are often rather high BMI but low body fat

      4 points.

      It's better to be the 'correct ' weight AND fit, but it seems better for health to be fit and rather overweight than unfit and 'correct' weight.

      There seem to be better measures of weight, BMI is just the easiest to measure but studies have shown that % of body fat or even just waist measurement are better predictors of poor health outcomes. Very fit, muscular athletes are often rather high BMI but low body fat

      Exercise does seem to be VERY important for long-term good health.

      Because of chance & biological variation lots of people will experience different outcomes.

  12. peyton?


    Probably used to include food that is not actually detrimental to health, but also not nutritionally valuable. We eat a lot of refined carbohydrates (grocery-store bread, pizza crust, etc.). Not harmful in and of itself, but also not healthful.

    CADMonkey's cheese/saturated fat covered meal, on the other hand, would be unhealthy :p

  13. Sly

    if'n it ain't fried... it's smothered and covered

    and if you look at the Yank's culture (I'm a Texas Yank) the typical is to be "comfortable" and anything that helps this is fair game. Whether it's food, booze, chocolate, drugs, welfare... whatever the vice, it's used to excess. Ever since the 60s or 70s... the free to be whatever you want theme has crept into being seek out feeling good no matter the cost. Go figure why the overtly fat rate is so high. Pretty much the only way to curtail this trend is to re-educate the masses... and looking at the current generation of kids, it's not headed in the right direction. I would look for this percentage to increase to and even past 40% (and maybe even past 50%) before anything is really done about it. Unless it's a national crisis, seemingly nobody cares.

    Now where's my chicken fried stake smothered in gravy with a side of gravy covered fries and a tankard of iced sweet tea followed by strawberry smothered cheesecake.

  14. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The answer is obvious ... they allow foreigners in Canada

    Canadians are pretty well insulated - once you get outside Vancouver or Toronto

    It's all a question of rigged statistics - a recent study showed that Vancouver had the highest life expectancy in N. America. Because of the healthy outdoor lifestyle said the politicians - no because of lots of Japanese grandmothers said the statisticians.

    If you only compare people of the same race it's about average. You don't suddenly get healthier by moving to Vancouver - unless you also become Japanese and female.

  15. Sarah 7


    "...if you look at the Yank's culture (I'm a Texas Yank)..."

    Since when is Yank culture synonymous with Texas culture? Texas is a more foreign land to me (in Seattle) than Canada (which is just up the road).

    1. Darryl

      you mean Vancouver?

      "Texas is a more foreign land to me (in Seattle) than Canada (which is just up the road)."

      You know that Canada is a pretty big place, right? Vancouver is just up the road from you, but Toronto is farther away from you than Dallas is.

    2. MeRp

      not only foreign but...

      a Texas Yank?

      Is that like a royalist roundhead?

  16. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Yup, I'm officially a fat bastard

    That's what getting tied to the desk for 9hrs a day does to you. Then I have no idea how to cook, so I eat out, and it's not just that it's greasy fatty stuff, the portions are large enough to feed half of Ethiopia.

    There's a burger joint (5 guys) where a small helping of fries fills most of a shoebox. I'm not kidding. Most Italian places, you can't get just a slice of pizza, it's the whole pie or nothing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Reg unit of weight?

    The "Yank"

    1 Yank == 1.5 Canucks == 2 Europeans == 4 Africans*.

    *Too lazy to check the math (I live in the US)

  18. asdf Silver badge

    I demand a recount

    The USA average gets dragged down badly by the deep South region and their butter dipped deep fried home cooking. If you took the South out I bet we would beat Canada. It seems there are Tim Hortons all over Canada (yeah we have Dunkin but they mostly cater to bums).

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge

      You'll need to exclude Anaheim also

      I was there a few years ago (kids to Disneyland) and the number of obese people I saw rolling around in those electric scooters was astounding and no they were not disabled, they were in them because they were too obese to walk

      On a side note too I cannot figure out how you get your burgers so damn greasy. It seems everything is lathered in Mayo and then deep fried before serving it up Fries just aren’t good enough until you roll them in a bed of salt, melt cheese over the top and then splatter a tub of sour cream and sauce as the finishing touch

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