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The Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH) was a one-time collaborative survey undertaken by Statistics Canada and the National Center for Health Statistics.


This analysis provides country-, sex-, and age-specific comparative markers of adult obesity and sedentarism, defined as independent and collective groupings of self-reported leisure-time inactivity (<1.5 MET-hours/day), usual occupational sitting, and no/low active transportation (<1 hour/week). Logistic regression assessed the likelihood of sedentarism in U.S. vs. Canada, with and without adjusting for BMI-defined obesity categories: healthy weight (18.5 ≤ BMI <25 kg/m2; n = 3542), overweight (25 ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m2; n = 2,651), and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; n = 1470).


Compared with Canadians, U.S. adults are 24% more likely to be overweight/ obese, 59% more likely to be inactive in leisure-time, 19% more likely to report no/low active transportation, and 39% more likely to collectively report all sedentarism markers, adjusting for sex and age. Focusing on obese individuals in both countries, obese U.S. residents were 90% more likely to be inactive during leisure-time, 41% more likely to report no/low active transportation, and 73% more likely to report all sedentarism markers.


This ecological analysis sheds light on differential risks of obesity and sedentarism in these neighboring countries.

Hart is with the Dept of Human Movement Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. Craig, Griffths, and Cameron are with the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Andersen is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of McGill, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Bauman is with the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Tudor-Locke is with the Walking Behavior Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA.