Here we go: peel, peel, peeling back the layers.
Even the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival, which just wrapped, delivers a welcome liminality, with spring shirtsleeves stage-side in the village and fully winterized humans on the slopes.
So off come the down-puffed coats, the woolies, the favourite hoodies — exposing our white limbs, our whiter chests and necklines, maybe even our whitest of whites, our flabby upper thighs (yikes!) to warm air and light and other attenuating properties that mark winter's end.
So long, sucker, I say. But that torso thickness that won't change despite the removal of clothing layers, well, that's another matter.
And so it is we have the following index, with apologies to Harper's ever accumulating, much like the midden layers around my middle. This one is devoted to the spring chapter of the ever-changing shape of the human condition. Stick it on your fridge.
Amount that Canadian men have increased in height since 1953: 1.4 cm/decade
Amount that Canadian women have increased in height since 1953: 1.1cm/decade
Amount that median body mass has increased in Canadian men since 1953: 1.9 kg/decade
Amount that median body mass has increased in Canadian women since 1953: 0.8 kg/decade
Average weight-for-height increase in Canadian men since 1953: 5.1 per cent
Average weight-for-height increase in Canadian women since 1953: 4.9 per cent
Prevalence of overweight and obese Canadian men in 1970-72 vs. 1998: 40.0 per cent vs. 50.7 per cent
Number of provinces or territories in 2000 where the percentage of the adult population that is obese was under 10 per cent: zero
Number of provinces or territories in 2000 where the percentage of the adult population that is obese was 10–14 per cent: two, namely B.C. and Quebec
Number of provinces or territories in 2000 where the percentage of the adult population that is obese was over 20 per cent: six, namely Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Newfoundland/Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
Number of provinces or territories in 2002/04 where the percentage of the adult population that is obese was over 30-34 per cent: two, namely Saskatchewan and Newfoundland/Labrador
Lowest provincial obesity rate in Canada in 2002/04: 15-19 per cent of the population, in B.C. only
Increased ratio of fast food outlets that people in low income neighbourhoods in Edmonton, Alberta are exposed to vs. people in middle or upper income neighbourhoods: 2.7
Amount spent on advertising campaigns for food, soft drinks and chain restaurants by industry vs. the spend by government in the U.K. in 2003/04: 10x greater
Percentage of Canadians who think governments should spend more on bike lanes: 82
Average kilocaloric intake from food per person per day in Canada in 1976: 2,358
(A kilocalorie is a measure of the amount of energy from food)
In 2002: 2,788
Rate of increase in average kilocaloric intake from food per person per day in Canada, 1991-2002: 18 per cent
Average fat intake from food per person per day in Canada in 1976: 87.2 grams
In 2002: 108.6 grams
Rate of increase in average fat intake from food per person per day in Canada, 1991-2002: 22 per cent
Ratio of increased risk of knee and hip joint replacement associated with increased waist circumference and body mass index in cases of osteoarthritis: three to four times
Percentage increase in the likelihood of men who are obese (Body Mass Index or BMI greater than 30) needing hip replacement surgery: 70
Number of kilocalories delivered by potato chips per dollar spent: 1,200 (A kilocalorie is a measure of the amount of energy from food)
Number of kilocalories delivered by orange juice per dollar spent: 200
Number of calories in a Quiznos veggie sub: 586
Number of Big Macs this is equivalent to, calorie-wise: 1
Number of calories in a Quiznos chicken carbonara sub: 715
Number of slices of pepperoni pizza this is equivalent to: 3
Number of calories in a Starbucks caramel macchiato: 240
Number of calories in 1 cup of canned vegetarian baked beans: 240
Number of calories in 1/2 cup Mario's hedgehog gelato: 230
Number of calories in a Starbucks iced coffee: 90
Number of cups of arugula you would have to eat to get the equivalent amount of iced coffee calories: 18
Number of calories in 1 cup of fresh spinach: 7
Number of variety of beets North Arm Farm has for sale: 5
Number of calories in one cup of beets: 58
Percentage of your daily dietary fibre requirements you get from one cup of beets: 15
Percentage of your daily requirements for vitamin C and iron you get from one cup of beets: 11 and 6, respectively
Number of calories in a large grapefruit: 106
Sugar content of grapefruit, per cent by weight: 6
Acid content of grapefruit, per cent by weight: 2
Percentage of daily fibre one large grapefruit delivers: 14
Percentage of grapefruits eaten at breakfast: 67
Percentage at dinner: 10
Number of grapefruits you eat every meal on the grapefruit diet: 1/2, or 8 oz. of unsweetened grapefruit juice
Number of copies of Yoko Ono's book, grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings, that were originally published in a limited edition in Tokyo in 1964: 500
Sources: Toronto Star healthzone; Starbucks.com; myfitnesspal.com; fatsecret.com; North Arm Farms newsletter; sciencedaily.com; Obesity Research, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 2002; Statistics Canada; "Towards Healthy Weights for Populations" June 2008, School of Public Health, University of Alberta; grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawing by Yoko Ono, Simon & Schuster, 2000; Grapefruit-Diet.org; livestrong.com; On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, Scribner, 2004; www1.agric.gov.ab.ca.
Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who swears every winter she will not put on one extra pound — and swears again when she does.
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