About 1 in 4 Canadian adults and nearly 1 in 10 Canadian children are obese. A person's risk of becoming obese is determined by a variety of factors - individually and in combination.

Are you at risk of becoming obese?

Certain obesity risk factors cannot be controlled, like genetics and ethnicity. Your economic stability and level of education level can also affect your risk of becoming obese, as can whether or not you live in a neighbourhood where you have access to nutritious food and recreational activity facilities.

While certain obesity risk factors are uncontrollable, you can control the two most important risk factors - your diet and your level of physical activity.

Your obesity risk and diet and physical activity

You risk becoming obese if you:

  • eat too much and do not get enough exercise
  • live a sedentary lifestyle (sitting much of the day doing things like watching television, using a computer, reading)
  • do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods

Diet and physical activity habits that increase a child's obesity risk include:

  • snacking or eating dinner while watching television
  • consuming sugar-sweetened drinks between meals
  • skipping breakfast
  • spending a lot of time in front of screens (television, computer, video games)

No matter what the cause or risk level for obesity, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, gallbladder disease, and several types of cancer. To learn more, read "The benefits of losing weight."