Socio-demographic and geographic analysis of overweight and obesity in Canadian adults using the Canadian Community Health Survey (2005)

Chronic Dis Can. 2009;30(1):4-15.


Using the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, this study examined how overweight and obesity in Canadian adults are distributed across socio-demographic and geographic groupings. Overweight and obesity prevalence were modeled against socio-demographic indicators using Poisson regression and were assessed geographically using choropleth maps. The Gini coefficient was used to assess the distribution of prevalence across risk groups. The potential impacts of high risk versus population-based prevention approaches on the population prevalence of obesity were also examined. Of adults aged 25 to 64 years, 17% were obese and 53% were overweight or obese, with the highest proportions observed in older age groups, among those who were physically inactive, white or non-immigrant, with low educational levels, and living in the prairie and east coast regions. Recalculation of obesity rates under the different prevention scenarios demonstrated that population-based approaches could achieve a four-fold greater decrease in obesity cases than high risk approaches, highlighting the need for broader population strategies for obesity prevention in Canada.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors