Monitoring Weight Status among Adults in Québec: Portrait and Evolution from 1987 to 2010

Reducing the prevalence of excess weight in the population in the short-term is one of Québec's public health objectives. The first part of this report provides a portrait of the current weight status situation based on the most recent data, and the second part presents weight trends since 1987.

The data collected in 2009–2010 revealed a prevalence of excess weight estimated at 50.5% for adults aged 18 and over. More specifically, 34.1% were overweight and 16.4% were obese. Between 1987 and 2010, the proportion of excess weight in Québec increased from one in three adults (34.6%) to one in two (50.5%).

Proportions of overweight and obesity rose significantly over these 23 years, but increases in both weight categories have slowed slightly since the early 2000s compared to the period from 1987 to 1998. Only severe obesity (class III) increased proportionately faster among adults in Québec between 2000 and 2010.

The average body mass index increased by 1.76 kg/m2 for the population as a whole, from 24.0 kg/m2 in 1987 to 25.8 kg/m2 in 2010.

Also, the prevalence of obesity increased for all adults over the last decade, regardless of their individual characteristics or environment. This suggests that the environment in Québec is conducive to weight gain. However, in 2009–2010, there was a greater prevalence of obesity in some population subgroups, such as adults living in rural areas, those with very low incomes or those with low levels of education.

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