Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Newfoundland is FAT!

"For the first time ever, overweight people outnumber average people in America. Doesn't that make overweight the average then? Last month you were fat, now you're average - hey, let's get a pizza!" ~ Jay Leno

We all know that people in North America are getting fat at an alarming rate. If you haven't heard it yet then you must be living under a rock or in denial. Yes Americans waistlines are growing faster than anyone Else's but now more than ever it is evident in their skinnier neighbour to the north......particularly in Newfoundland.

At hearing a report last night on the local Newfoundland & Labrador "CBC News: Here & Now" they had a report about the growing obesity problem in our province.
"Residents of St.John's are a lot more likely to be obese, than people who live in other Canadian cities. That information today from a new report that's based on actual measurements of height and weight. Past studies show that people underestimated their own weight when asked to provide the information themselves. This report says that the obesity rate in St. John's is thirty-six percent, compared to the national average of twenty-three percent. They found that generally, people who live in cities are thinner than those who live in smaller towns."

- CBC News: Here & Now (Link to daily news: Aug.22nd, 2006. Actual story is 35secs from 8mins 4secs - 8mins 39secs)
CBC News: Canada Now had this to add;
"Obesity is a growing epidemic. One that's driving healthcare costs higher. Now, Statistics Canada has found an intriguing correlation between the size of a city and the likelihood of obesity. The bigger the city, the slimmer the people. And people living outside big cities are more likely to be obese. And time behind the wheel may be a factor."

- CBC News: Canada Now (Link to full report: Aug.22nd, 2006)
Both of these CBC reports are based on a new 'Statistics Canada' report.....but unfortunately they don't name the report and I can't seem to locate it yet, But I'm looking.

Back on July 6th, 2005 released the following report: "Canadian Community Health Survey: Obesity among children and adults", but this information was obtained by the 'Canadian Community Health Study (CCHS)' back in 2004.
"The 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey: Nutrition (CCHS) collected information from over 35,000 respondents between January and December of 2004, and directly measured most respondents' height and weight. As a result, it is now possible to draw a more accurate picture of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada."

- Statistics Canada
Because the new data was collected by actual measurements as apposed to the "self reported" data of past studies, it was now possible to compare Canada and the U.S in a more accurate light.

The following chart illustrates the gap in obesity between Canada and the U.S:

Since the U.S is the leader in the Fast Food industry and in the commercial food industry its not surprising that their in the lead in terms of obesity as well.

What worries me in particular is that the levels of obesity that the U.S is seeing is only around the corner for the rest of the western world.

With the increase of world trade and the development of new easy to use communication devices and technology the world is becoming a smaller place, where the end result is a nation of bigger people.....who more often then not tend to be vertically challenged.

The last 10 years has brought enough apocalypse scenario's to make my head spin - Killer meteorites, global warming, killer waves, nuclear war, killer bee's, pandemics.....

Maybe........just maybe it will be obesity that kills us in the end!

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