Vital Signs 2011: Obesity Rates Weigh Down On Canadian Communities

As regular readers will recall, I recently visited the town of Grand Prairie, gateway to Alberta’s vast northern region.

It turns out that Grand Prairie also has the highest obesity rates of the communities in the Vital Signs 2011 report that was released today.

According to this report, not only do Albertan communities have amongst the highest obesity rates among reporting communities, but Grande Prairie tops this list at 26.8 per cent of adults (compared to rates of only 6.2 per cent in Sunshine Coast, Squamish and Powell River, BC).

Vital Signs is an annual community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our cities, identifies significant trends, and assigns grades in at least ten areas critical to quality of life. Vital Signs is based on a project of the Toronto Community Foundation and is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada.

If it is any comfort to Grand Prairie – it is fortunately, not the heaviest community in Canada.

According to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, among the major Canadian CMAs (Census Metropolitan Areas) in 2010, the highest rates are in St. John’s (30.4 per cent).

Nevertheless, it is only appropriate that the recently announced Alberta Health Services Obesity Initiative has earmarked Grand Prairie to soon be home to a new specialty care clinic featuring speciality services including bariatric surgery.

The full Vital Signs 2011 Report is available here.

Orlando, FL