by Dan Savage
on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 9:55 AM
...and it's not like there's a donut shortage up there. So what could explain this:
American adults have a significantly higher rate of obesity than their neighbors to the north, a new study says. About 24 percent of Canadians are obese compared to more than 34 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Wednesday. Researchers looked at height and weight data taken in surveys in both countries during 2007-09.
The two countries have different racial demographics. The United States has more black and Hispanic people, and both have higher rates of obesity. But even looking solely at white people, there was still a big difference — a 26 percent obesity rate in Canada compared to 33 percent in the United States. It's not clear why that is, said study-co-author Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
The report goes on to state that there's "little difference" between Canadian and American childhood obesity rates—15.5% down here, 12% up there—but, um, math is hard and everything, but difference looks kinda significant to me.
But while we're casting around looking for explanations, I'd like to toss this out there: Canadian sports culture seems to center around getting off your ass and participating, while American sports culture seems to center around sitting on your ass and watching. Maybe it's that?