Canada’s battle with the bulge is continuing to escalate with nearly one-quarter of the population part of the country’s rising obesity rates, a new report from a leading economic organization said Thursday.

In its inaugural obesity study, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development detailed the economic and financial toll of rising obesity rates.

The findings are based on data from 11 of its 33 member countries.

The report said Canada has a relatively high number of overweight citizens, saying one in four Canadians currently qualifies as obese, with that number expected to climb a further five per cent over the next decade.

Weight concerns were particularly prevalent among Canadian men, the report said, adding two in three are categorized as overweight.

Canadian obesity rates are well below those of the United States, identified by the OECD as the fattest nation among its member countries.