OTTAWA, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada's rising obesity rates may affect
its future health performance relative to that of its peer countries,
according to a Conference Board analysis (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/lifestyleHealth.aspx) released today.
In 2008, over half of Canada's population was considered to be either
overweight or obese and almost one quarter was obese, according to body
mass index (BMI) estimates.
"Lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor eating habits, and physical
inactivity affect a country's health outcomes and increase health
expenditures," said Sheila Rao, Senior Research Associate. "Obesity is
a major risk factor for many chronic conditions, including
cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. Despite
improvements in medical treatments, the number of deaths due to
diabetes has increased over the past few decades. Both hypertension and
diabetes are becoming increasingly prevalent."
In 2009, six per cent of the Canadian population reported having
diabetes, up from 4.6 per cent in 2003. The mortality rate due to
diabetes has been on an upward trend since the 1980s. Canada has the
third-highest mortality rate due to diabetes among its peers.
Deaths from heart disease continue to fall in Canada, but the number of
surgical treatments performed, such as angioplasties and coronary
bypass surgeries is higher now than it was in the 1990s—an indication
of the increase in the prevalence of heart disease. The number of
bypass surgeries being performed has leveled off, as angioplasties are
increasingly being done as an alternative procedure.
One bright spot related to Canadian lifestyle choices is the decline in
tobacco consumption, which has been steadily falling since the 1960s.
Canada has one of the lowest smoking rates among its peer countries and
deaths due to lung cancer continue to decline.
Lifestyle choices such as smoking, inactivity and lack of exercise
clearly affect the health of the population. But so do socio-economic
factors—like poverty, income inequality, crime, education, and the
How Canada Performs (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/default.aspx) is a multi-year research program at The Conference Board of Canada to
help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's
socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents
data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to 16 peer countries
in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment,
Education and Skills, Health, and Society. This year, the Conference
Board is assessing Canada's performance on 10 Hot Topics (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/default.aspx).
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448