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Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada

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About the Study

Since 1980, the number of obese adults has doubled, while the number of obese children has tripled. This pushes Canada into fifth place for the number of obese adults and sixth for obese children among industrialized countries.

Number of obese adults has doubled. Number of obese children has tripled.

Rates of overweight and obesity in First Nations communities are considerably higher than the rest of Canada

70% of adults are overweight or obese. 62.5% of children under 11 years of age are overweight or obese.

The cost in health care spending, and in lost productivity due to obesity, is estimated to be between

$4.6 billion and $7.1 billion

in Canada annually.

The Senate Takes Action

Recognizing the increasing incidence of obesity in Canada, the Senate Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee launched an in-depth study to examine the causes, consequences and the way forward for Canada.

As the impacts of obesity touch the lives of Canadians in many different ways, the study explored a broad range of topics, including

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  • Food consumption trends
  • Specific elements of diet
  • Processed food industry
  • Daily lifestyles of Canadians

Additionally, Senators heard from experts about provincial and federal initiatives currently underway in Canada and learned about international best practices.

After studying the issue intensively for more than a year, the committee produced the ground-breaking report Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada. It makes 21 recommendations on how our country can combat our rising rates of obesity.

Senators who participated in this study

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Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie
C - (Annapolis Valley - Hants - Nova Scotia)

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Deputy Chair
Art Eggleton, P.C.
Lib - (Ontario)

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Linda Frum
C - (Ontario)

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Pana Merchant
Lib - (Saskatchewan)

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Nancy Ruth
C - (Cluny - Ontario)

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Nancy Greene Raine
C - (Thompson-Okanagan-Kootenay - British Columbia)

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Judith G. Seidman
C - (De la Durantaye - Quebec)

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Carolyn Stewart Olsen
C - (New Brunswick)

Ex-officio members of the committee:
The Honourable Senators Claude Carignan, P.C. (or Yonah Martin)

Former Committee members who have participated in this study:
The Honourable Senators Chaput, Enverga, and Wallace.

Other Senators who have participated from time to time in the study:
The Honourable Senators Beyak, Cordy, Lang, Manning, Moore, Ngo, Patterson, Rivard, Seth, Tannas, Unger and Wells.

Contact information

General Information:
613-990-0088 or 1-800-267-7362


Mailing Address:
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0A4