The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says one in four Canadians are obese, adding that rate is expected to climb 5 per cent over the next 10 years.
The report says the problem is more prevalent among men, with two out of three reported as overweight.
The organization says Canada's obesity levels are relatively high compared to other OECD countries, but the rates have increased slowly over the past 15 years.
Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, and disease rates and health care spending will balloon, unless governments, individuals and industry cooperate on a comprehensive strategy to combat the epidemic, the study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
The Paris-based organization, which brings together 33 of the world's leading economies, is better known for forecasting deficit and employment levels than for measuring waistlines. But the economic cost of excess weight — in health care, and in lives cut short and resources wasted — is a growing concern for many governments.