Map of Simcoe Muskoka

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Youth Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height (weight (kg)/height(m)2) and while it is not a direct measure of body fat, it is considered to be one of the most useful indicators of population health risks associated with overweight and obesity.

The classification of BMI for children and youth is different than for adults. Statistics Canada currently uses the World Health Organization (WHO) age-/sex-specific classification cut-offs for children and adolescents aged 5 to 19. The following table provides some example BMI cut-off scores for boys and girls between 12 and 17 years of age. For more information visit the following WHO site - http://www.who.int/growthref/who2007_bmi_for_age/en/index.html.

Child Body Mass Index (BMI) Cut-off Scores

AGE

BOYS

GIRLS

OVERWEIGHT

OBESE

OVERWEIGHT

OBESE

12.0

19.9

23.6

20.8

25.0

12.5

20.4

24.2

21.3

25.6

13.0

20.8

24.8

21.8

26.2

13.5

21.3

25.3

22.3

26.8

14.0

21.8

25.9

22.7

27.3

14.5

22.2

26.5

23.1

27.8

15.0

22.7

27.0

23.5

28.2

15.5

23.1

27.4

23.8

28.6

16.0

23.5

27.9

24.1

28.9

16.5

23.9

28.3

24.3

29.1

17.0

24.3

28.6

24.5

29.3

17.5

24.6

29.0

24.6

29.4

Adapted from the WHO BMI-for-age (5-19) tables available at http://www.who.int/growthref/who2007_bmi_for_age/en/index.html

According to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada for the survey period from 2009-2014 (combined), 30% (24.4%, 35.8%) of Simcoe Muskoka youth (12-17 years and older) were considered to be overweight or obese according to the WHO BMI-for-age cut-offs. This was not significantly different than the 27% (25.8%, 28.5%) of overweight or obese Ontario youth (12-17) during this same time period.

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Between 2009 and 2014 among all Ontario youth (12-17 years), significantly more males  were overweight or obese (33% (31.1%, 35.1%)) when compared with females (21% (18.8%, 22.5%)). This gender difference was consistent, but not statistically significant, among Simcoe Muskoka youth during the same survey period.

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Between 2009 and 2014 among all Ontario youth (12-17 years), significantly more youth  living in households in the lowest or lower middle income category were overweight or obese (30% (26.7%, 32.9%)) when compared with those living in households in the highest income category (25% (23.3%, 26.7%)). This income difference was consistent, but not statistically significant, among Simcoe Muskoka youth during the same survey period.

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