A study released Thursday found that 70 per cent of Ontario adults are either overweight or obese, and strong candidates for heart attack or stroke.

The study from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), analyzed a survey it conducted with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  That survey looked at 2,552 Ontarians between the ages of 22 and 79 from communities across the province.

The joint survey showed 52 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 60 had high blood pressure, but most were receiving treatment.

UOHI’s analysis of the survey revealed that 48 per cent of adults were classified as overweight, and another 22 per cent as obese, and levels of obesity increased with age. 

Among the subjects classified as obese, instances of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes were two to three times higher than people classified as overweight.

Dr. George Fodor, head of UOHI Prevention and Rehabilitation Research, highlighted the link between obesity and serious health issues.

“If we reduce weight, then we can help reduce high blood pressure – these facts are becoming more apparent as a way to live healthier,” he said in a press release.

The study used Body Mass Index (BMI) to classify subjects.  Those with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 were considered overweight and those with a BMI over 30 as obese.