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Obesity Less Likely In Big Cities: Study

A new report released by Statistics Canada finds that people living in big cities have smaller waistlines. The data from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey was// compiled after comparing the rates of obesity in people living in big cities and whose living in small towns.

The researchers used actual measurements of height and weight, not self-reported ones for the survey. The researchers found that as the city size increased, the likelihood of being obese decreased. The survey also found that 20 per cent of city residents were obese as compared with 29 percent of those living elsewhere.

In cities with a population of at least two million, only 17 percent of adults were obese, while n cities with populations of 10,000 to 100,000 around 30 percent adults were obese. Dr. Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network says the report is thought provoking, "If you look, at people living in downtown Toronto, they may not even own a car. They walk everywhere. You don't use your car when you have six blocks to go or even 10 blocks, you just walk it," he said.

"People who use public transportation spend way more time on their feet because they have to walk to the bus stop, they're standing, they climb stairs and all of that contributes to preventing obesity," he added. But the study did not find any disparity in the rates of childhood obesity between children living in cities and those living outside.

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