2015 Body Mass Index (BMI) Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information about Body Mass Index (BMI) among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

BMI is a simple, surrogate measure of body fatness.1 BMI measures a person’s excess body weight using a weight-to-height ratio. 2 Research has shown that BMI is highly correlated with body fat, however factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and muscle mass can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat.1 In general, adults with a high BMI (overweight or obese) have a high percentage of body fat, and adults with a low BMI (underweight) have a low percentage of body fat.2 Adults with a higher BMI are more likely to experience obesity-related health problems. 1 Health problems associated with being overweight or obese include an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and certain cancers.3

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Key Findings

  • In 2015, 1% of Halton adults reported being underweight, 42% normal weight, 40% overweight and 17% obese.
  • From 2001 to 2015, excluding 2014 as data was not reportable, there were no statistically significant differences in the percentage of Halton adults who reported being underweight.
  • From 2001 to 2015 the percentage of Halton adults who reported being a normal weight decreased from 47% to 42% and this decrease was statistically significant.
  • From 2001 to 2015 there were no statistically significant differences in the percentage of Halton adults who reported being overweight.
  • From 2001 to 2015 the percentage of Halton adults who reported being obese increased from 12% to 17% and this increase was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2015, Halton males were more likely than females to report being overweight or obese (combined), and this difference was statistically significant.

Age

  • In 2015, the percentage of Halton adults who reported being overweight or obese (combined) increased with age. This increase was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 25-44 to adults aged 65+, as well as when comparing adults aged 18-24 to adults aged 45-64 and 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported being overweight or obese (combined).
  • Estimates of BMI and statistical significance have varied over the years between 2001-2015, likely as a result of small sample sizes.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported being overweight or obese (combined).

Education

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults aged 25 and over who reported being overweight or obese (combined).

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Body Mass Index: Considerations for Practitioners. Retrieved June 2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/bmiforpactitioners.pdf
  2. Health Canada. 2003. Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults. Retrieved June 2016 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php
  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2012. What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity? Retrieved June 2016 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks