About Obesity


One in four adult Canadians and one in 10 children live with clinical obesity, meaning six million Canadians living with obesity may require immediate support in managing and controlling their weight.1 Support from health care professionals can help you achieve clinically significant and maintained weight loss.3

What is obesity?
Obesity is characterized by excess body fat that can threaten or affect your health.2 Complex and multifactorial in nature, obesity is influenced by physiological, psychological, environmental, socioeconomic, and genetic factors.3

Is obesity a disease?
Obesity is recognized as a chronic disease by leading medical organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association.5

Obesity increases your risk of developing many weight-related health conditions, including6-10:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Some cancers
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Arthritis
  • Sleep apnea (difficulties breathing when sleeping)


  1. Canadian Obesity Network, http://www.obesitynetwork.ca/obesity-in-canada, accessed August 11, 2016
  2. Canadian Obesity Network, http://www.obesitynetwork.ca/obesity-in-canada, accessed August 11, 2016
  3. Wright SM, Aronne LJ. Causes of obesity. Abdom Imaging. 2012;37(5):730-732.
  4. Canadian Medical Association, https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/cma-recognizes-obesity-as-a-disease.aspx, accessed August 11, 2016
  5. Guh DP, Zhang W, Bansback N, et al. The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2009;9:88.
  6. Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, et al. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors. 2001. JAMA. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/. Accessed February 25, 2015.
  7. Grundy SM. Pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk. J Am Col Cardiol. 2012:59:635-43
  8. Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, et al. Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5.24 million UK adults. Lancet. 2014;384:755-765.
  9. Li C, Ford ES, Zhao G, et al. Prevalence of self-reported clinically diagnosed sleep apnea according to obesity status in men and women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2006. Prev Med. 2010;51:18-23.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.