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Overweight, Obese, and Morbidly Obese -
Reversing the Trend of Weight Gain

36% are overweight, 23% are obese, 5% have diabetes,
and another 5% have either prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes

Reversing the Trend of Weight Gain
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The increasing prevalence of obesity is a major public health concern, as excess weight has been associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, psychosocial difficulties, osteoarthritis, and premature mortality. - Health Canada "Health Reports" - Vol. 18 No. 2

The average Canadian is leading a more sedentary life - more hours spent in the workplace, less energy and motivation, and trends in entertainment activities moving towards activities performed while seated. Between 1978 and 2004, the percentage of Canadians classified as "obese" rose from 14% to 23%. Between 1996 and 2005, the average Canadian gained almost 5 kg.

According to Stats Canada's 2009 Obesity on the Job report: obesity among Canadian workers increased from 12.5% in the mid-1990s to 15.7% in 2005, with men and older workers generally more prone to obesity.

On top of this, nutrition is being sacrificed in favour of "convenience" - pre-packaged processed foods, takeout, and more meals eaten away from home.

There are a myriad of issues and costs associated with being overweight, including:

  • cardiovascular disease;
  • hypertension;
  • pulmonary embolism;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • certain cancers (colorectal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer);
  • stroke;
  • gall bladder disease;
  • lower self-esteem;
  • premature mortality;
  • greater absenteeism and lost productivity;
  • less respect from coworkers;
  • increased long term disability costs;
  • increased short term disability costs; and
  • increased drug benefit costs.
  • In 1997 over 2.4% of the overall Canadian healthcare budget went toward treating obesity and the direct health effects of obesity.

    What is "overweight" and what is "obese"?

    Using the Body Mass Index (BMI), a measurement that shows the relationship between height and weight (kg/m2), a person is considered overweight when the resulting number is between 25 and 29.9, and considered obese with a BMI of 30 and above.

    Reversing the trend: the tendency is to gain additional pounds

    ...almost one-quarter of Canadians who had been overweight in 1994/95 had become obese by 2002/03. On the other hand, only half as many, about 10%, who had been overweight were in the normal weight range eight years later. - Stats Canada "Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow? Findings from the National Population Health Survey"

    What can you do as an employer to turn this trend? Make it easy for your employees to access the tools and information they need to affect positive changes in their lives. Contact us for specific suggestions, or visit the Packages page of this site for more information.

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    Thank you to WELCOA for generous use of the concept. All artwork copyright © 2017 Natural Healthcare Canada. All rights reserved.

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