Although both the USA and Canada are concerned about the rise in obesity and overweight prevalence during the last twenty years, in the USA the rate is over 10 percentage points higher, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA. 24.3% of Canadian adult males are obese, compared to 32.6% in America, a difference of more than 8 percentage points. 23.9% of Canadian women are obese compared to 36.2% in the USA, a difference of over 12 percentage points.

The authors explain that obesity has become a global health concern. Since the early 1960s, as part of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), data on people's height and weight have been gathered in the USA. Similar data have been collected from nationally representative population samples less often in Canada. In 2007 Canada launched the CHMS (Canadian Health Measures Survey), with similar aims to NHANES. The authors add that this report aims to compare obesity estimates in the USA and Canada (among adults).

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