A wide-ranging health survey of Canadians suggests that about half of the adults who live in the Winnipeg Regional health region are overweight _ and one out of seven is considered obese.

The new information was released Wednesday by Statistics Canada as part of its Canadian Community Health Survey _ the largest study of the health of Canadians conducted by the federal government.

The annual survey suggests that 16.7 per cent of the adult males and 12.6 per cent of the females in the Winnipeg Regional health region are considered obese. In total, 49.6 per cent of the adult population was considered over their acceptable weight: 58.9 per cent among men and 40.7 per cent among women.

Across Canada, the national obesity rate in 2007 was 16.0 per cent and 32.4 per cent were considered overweight but not obese.

The survey bases its findings on the body mass index, an internationally accepted standard that uses a person's weight and height to gauge total body fat. A person is overweight if their body mass index is over 25; a person is obese if their BMI is 30 or more.

For example, a person who is 5-11 and weighs 215 pounds would have a BMI of 30.0 and would therefore be considered obese. If that same person weighed 175 pounds, they would have a BMI of 24.5, which would be in the normal weight range.

The survey also found that in the Winnipeg Regional health region, 54.1 per cent of the population described themselves as physically active. In terms of more sedentary activities, 33.3 per cent of adults say they spend 15 hours or more a week watching TV and 14.8 per cent use a computer 11 hours or more each week.

The Statistics Canada survey breaks down its findings not by cities, but by 121 provincial and territorial health regions _ areas that are defined by the provinces and generally represent districts of responsibility for regional health boards.

More than 65,000 people were asked a variety of questions _ ranging from their drinking and smoking habits to their access to health care services _ and those results are extrapolated to give governments a snapshot of health care issues at the national, provincial and sub-provincial level.