Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Healthy Eating Healthy Weights

Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)

Historical Trends
Current Prevalance

By Sex
By Age
By Education
By Chronic Conditions

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 both underweight and overweight/obesity.

The following table is adapted from Health Canada’s Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults. This classification system is aligned with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) internationally adopted recommendations and is meant for use among Canadian adults aged 18 and over; however, it is not applicable to pregnant or lactating women. 

Adult Body Mass Index (BMI) Classification








- Undernutrition

- Osteoporosis

- Infertility

- Impaired Immunocompetence

Normal Weight

18.5 – 24.9




25.0 – 29.9


- Type 2 diabetes

- Dyslipidemia

- Hypertension

- Coronary heart disease

- Gallbladder disease

- Obstructive sleep apnea

- Certain cancers


30.0 and over


  Class I

30.0 – 34.9


  Class II

35.0 – 39.9

Very high

  Class III

40.0 and over


Adapted from: WHO (2000) Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic: Report of a WHO Consultation on Obesity.  

Historical Trends

Obesity prevalence increased significantly, both locally and across the province, from 2003 to 2014. Over this time period, the obesity prevalence rates in Simcoe Muskoka were significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates.  



Due to changes implemented in the CCHS beginning in 2015, comparisons of the 2015-2016 data should NOT be made to results from previous years.

Current Prevalence

According to the 2015/16 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada, approximately one-third (33% (28.9%, 37.4%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults (18 years and older) are considered normal weight, while 34% (30.6%, 37.0%) are overweight and 31% (26.3%, 36.1%) are obese.


By Sex

In 2015-2016, obesity prevalence was not significantly different between Simcoe Muskoka males and females. Simcoe Muskoka females had a significantly higher rate of obesity prevalence when compared with the provincial average: 32% (26.3%, 38.5%) among Simcoe Muskoka females vs. 25% (23.7%, 26.1%) for all Ontario females. The obesity rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was comparable with the provincial average: 30% (24.1%, 36.6%) among Simcoe Muskoka males vs. 28% (26.6%, 29.1%).


By Age

In 2015-2016, obesity prevalence in Simcoe Muskoka did not differ significantly by age; however, for province as a whole, obesity prevalence among younger adults (18-44 years) was significantly lower when compared with older adults (45-64 years) and seniors (65 years and older).


By Education

In 2015-2016, obesity prevalence was lowest among those with a university degree or higher and this was consistent in both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario as a whole. In Ontario, 20% (18.4%, 21.1%) of adults 25 to 64 years with a University degree or higher were obese compared with 31% (28.6%, 32.5%) of those with a college diploma or certificate and 35% (32.7%, 36.6%) of those with a high school diploma or less. The comparable obesity prevalence rates in Simcoe Muskoka were not significantly different from the provincial rates; however, due to smaller sample size, differences by education among the Simcoe Muskoka population were not statistically significant.


By Chronic Conditions

​Obesity prevalence among those with certain chronic conditions is significantly higher when compared to those that do not have the chronic condition. In 2015-2016 among Simcoe Muskoka adults (18+), 56% (41.1%, 70.1%) of those with diabetes were obese compared with 29% (24.6%, 34.6%) among those with-out diabetes. Obesity prevalence among those with hypertension was 53% (42.6%, 63.0%) compared with 25% (19.6%, 30.4%) for those without hypertension. Obesity was also significantly higher among those with a mood disorder 45% (32.7%, 57.7%) compared with 29% (24.2%, 34.5%) for those with-out a mood disorder.