We’re #1! We’re #1! Suck it, Hodson.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, it probably comes as no surprise that a new study has revealed the obesity epidemic is larger in the US than it is in Canada. Broken down across different demographics, the numbers fluctuated slightly, but it worked out to about a ten percentage point difference between the yanks and canucks. The spread was larger between American women and Canadian women than American men and Canadian men, and the data, gathered intermittently during a 20 year period between 1998 and 2008, did not account for children. (An area in which one might hazard a guess we are even further ahead of Canada.)
The rate of obese Americans had a mean of 34.4% in the United States, compared with 24.1% in Canada. Scientists have not been able to entirely determine which factors are directly responsible, citing a more diverse ethnic makeup in the States including higher populations of groups more genetically plagued by obesity struggles. Lifestyle was fingered, too, with director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Lab and a professor of nutrition at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston Alice Lichtenstein commenting that socioeconomic and demographic factors may be at play in influencing the dramatic numbers:
“I also would personally be very interested in looking at food availability issues,” she added. “How easy is it to, say, jump in a car and get a McDonald’s hamburger at 11 at night in very rural Canada? What would the availability of 24/7 stores be where one get a bag of chips and a bottle of soda whenever one wants, as I know I can where I live. These are the sorts of questions that now need to be asked.”