Maintaining a healthy weight can play an important role in promoting health. The issue of healthy weights is high on the public health agenda in Canada and around the world.
What you will find
These resources provide Canadian and international information to help you plan programs which promote healthy weights. For more information, please visit the Best Practices section for interventions related to healthy weights.
A first step to planning a program to promote healthy weights is to understand the issue through surveillance data.
- Chronic disease infobase Data Cubes interactive database, Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Adjusting the scales: Obesity in the Canadian population after correcting for respondent bias, Statistics Canada (2014).
- Eating disorders among girls and women in Canada, House of Commons (2014).
- Obesity and the economics of prevention: Fit not fat – Key Facts – Canada, Update 2014 (PDF document), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
- Obesity in Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Institute for Health Information (2011).
- State of the evidence review on urban health and healthy weights (PDF document), Canadian Population Health Initiative at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (2008).
- Obesity, Web page with data tables, publications and other resources.
- Overweight and obese adults (self-reported), Health fact sheets (2013).
- Body mass index, overweight or obese, self-reported, youth, by sex (2014).
- Body mass index, overweight or obese, self-reported, adult, by age group and sex (2014).
- Perspectives: Obesity on the job (PDF document) (2009).
Data by province/territory is available from Statistics Canada. Provincial/territorial data can be accessed from the links below.
- Body mass index, overweight or obese, self-reported, youth, by sex, provinces and territories, data table (2014).
- Body mass index, overweight or obese, self-reported, adult, by sex, provinces and territories, data table. (2014).
- Health behaviours: Self-reported nutrition and healthy weights, Public Health Ontario.
- Healthy body mass index, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
- Obesity: A burden across the life course, Public Health Ontario.
- Body weight and the health of the adult population in Québec- Summary (PDF document), Institut national de santé publique du Québec (2014).
- The impact of the built environment on physical activity, diet, and body weight: Summary (PDF document), Institut national de santé publique du Québec (2013).
- Santéscope: Proportion of the population 18 years and over who were obese by sex, Quebec, 1987-2009,Institut national de santé publique du Québec (2010).
- Adult obesity prevalence in Canada and the United States, Statistics Canada (2011).
- Australian health survey: Biomedical results for chronic diseases, 2011-2012: Obesity and chronic disease, Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013).
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- OECD health statisitics 2015, (includes overweight and obesity). Online database.
- Obesity update 2014.
- Health at a glance 2014: Europe, Includes overweight and obesity among adults.
- Nutrition, physical activity and obesity: Data, trends and mapsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Obesity and Overweight, Adult, child and adolescent prevalence data on obesity and overweight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States, 2011-2012, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013).
World Health Organization
- Obesity and overweight: Fact sheet (2015).
- Global database on body mass Index, online database (various years).
- Global infobase: Data on overweight and obesity, online database (various years).
Economic burden of obesity
- The economic consequences associated with obesity and overweight in Québec: Costs tied to hospitalization and medical consultations (PDF document), Institut national de santé publique du Québec (2015).
- The cost of obesity in Alberta: Summary report (PDF document), Alberta Health Services (2011).
- The economic burden of obesity (PDF document), National Health Service, United Kingdom (2010).
Government Strategies (Frameworks, Action Plans, etc.)
Canada, several Canadian provinces and international jurisdictions have a specific healthy weights strategy for children and youth, as well as strategies for healthy eating and physical activity. For this information, please see the topic pages on healthy weights-children, nutrition and physical activity.
- Towards a healthier Canada – 2013 Progress report on advancing the Federal/Provincial/Territorial framework on healthy weights, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health and Healthy Living (2013).
- Canadian priorities for addressing obesity as a cancer and chronic disease risk factor (PDF document), Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2010).
- Alberta Health Services obesity initiative (PDF document), Alberta Health Services (2011).
- Healthy families BC wellness strategy that includes healthy weights.
- Healthy together now, Government of Manitoba wellness strategy that includes healthy weights.
- Live well, be well: New Brunswick’s wellness strategy action plan 2012-2013 (PDF document).
- Live well, be well: New Brunswick’s wellness strategy 2009-2013 (PDF document). A strategy that includes healthy weights.
Newfoundland and Labrador
- Achieving health and wellness: Provincial wellness plan for Newfoundland and Labrador (PDF document) (2006-2008).
Prince Edward Island
- Prince Edward Island strategy for healthy living (PDF document). A wellness strategy that includes healthy weights.
- Plan d’action gouvernemental de promotion des saines habitudes de vie et de prévention des problèmes reliés au poids 2006-2012, Investir pour l’avenir (PAG) (PDF document) Action Plan, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.
- Phase 2: Working Together To Achieve Healthier Lifestyles in Yukon and Northwest Territories Communities Arctic Institute of Community-based Research (2015).
- Technical paper 1: Obesity in Australia: A need for urgent action, Preventative Health Taskforce (2009).
- Healthy weight for adults and older Australians: A National action agenda to address overweight and obesity in adults and older Australians 2006-2010, Department of Health.
- Programme national nutrition santé 2011-2015 (French only). Multisectoral national nutrition and health program with the goal of reducing risk factors fro chronic disease through a focus on nutrition. République Française (2011).
- Healthy lives, healthy people: A call to action on obesity in England, Department of Health (2011).
- Healthy weight, healthy lives: A cross-government strategy for England (PDF document), Department of Health and Department of Children, Schools and Families (2008).
- Obesity prevention on a budget: Low- and no-cost policy options to increase healthy eating and active living (PDF document), Leadership for Healthy Communities (2011).
- The Surgeon General’s vision for a healthy and fit nation 2010 (PDF document), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010).
- Obesity (adults) : Protocol, Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care (2013).
- Prenatal nutrition guidelines for health professionals: Gestational weight gain Health Canada (2010).
- Ontario healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy weights guidance document (PDF document), Ministry of Health Promotion (2010).
- Maintaining a healthy weight and preventing excess weight gain among adults and children, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2015).
- Obesity – Working with local communities: Guidance National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2012).
- Health equity resource toolkit for State practitioners addressing obesity disparities (PDF document), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
- Obesity prevention and control: Interventions in community settings, The Community Guide.
- Overweight and obesity – recommendations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the US – Implementation and measurement guide (PDF document), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009).
World Health Organization
Systematic Reviews of the Research
Selected strong reviews from HealthEvidence.org:
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of whole of community interventions to prevent excessive population weight gain, (2014).
- Strategies to prevent weight gain in adults: A systematic review, (2013).
- Meta-analysis of workplace physical activity and dietary behaviours interventions on weight outcomes, (2011).
- The effectiveness of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions for controlling employee overweight and obesity: A systematic review, (2009).
Search more systematic reviews.