FOOD Nutrition Month 20130220

In 2013, nearly 21 per cent of youth reported a height and weight that classified them as overweight or obese. Statistics Canada says the rate has remained relatively stable since 2008. ( Dietitians of Canada/Canadian Press)

Statistic Canada says new data from its 2013 Canadian Community Health Survey show that one in five youths aged 12 to 17 reported height and weight that classified them as overweight or obese.

It says 20.7 per cent of youths could be classified as overweight or obese, a rate that has remained relatively stable since 2008, but is still higher than the 18.7 per cent reported for this group in 2007.

Among adults, 41.9 per cent of men and 27.7 per cent of women reported heights and weights that classified them as overweight in 2013.

The percentage of overweight men was about the same as in 2012, while the rate among women has been stable since 2003.

The survey results also show that more people are at least moderately active during their leisure time, a level equivalent to a 30-minute daily walk or an hour-long exercise class at least three times a week.

It says 55.2 per cent of people over age 12 reported such moderate exercise in 2013, up from 53.9 per cent in 2012.

Last month, kinesiology Prof. Jennifer Kuk at York University in Toronto said people tend to overestimate how hard they work out. She reported in the journal PLOS One that the majority of the 129 adults tested underestimated the intensity of physical activity they needed to gain health benefits.

With files from CBC News