Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents in the United States and Canada

About one-quarter of Canadian adults and more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Obese children are at risk of becoming obese adults and can experience immediate health consequences such as psychosocial stress, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, and abnormal glucose tolerance. Monitoring trends in childhood obesity is important in order to assess interventions aimed at reducing the burden of obesity.

A new NCHS report looks at the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in the United States and Canada.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In the late 1970s, the prevalence of childhood obesity was the same in Canada and the United States, but recently the prevalence is 4.5 percentage points higher in the United States than in Canada.
  • No change has been seen over the last decade in the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in Canada or the United States.
  • The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 3–19 in Canada was lower (13.0%) than in the United States (17.5%) in recent years.
  • There was no difference between Canada and the United States in the prevalence of obesity among children aged 3–6 years.
  • In the non-Hispanic white population, the prevalence of obesity among girls was lower in Canada than in the United States, but there was no difference between the two countries among boys.
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