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Fat, Chain-Smoking, Beer-Swilling Men Are Costing Canada Huge: Study

06/16/2015 01:36 EDT | Updated 06/16/2015 01:59 EDT

Canadian men aren't just emptying their own pockets to knock back beers and smoke all the time.

They're also costing the rest of us something huge.

The Canadian Men's Health Foundation (CMHF) on Monday released a study titled, "The Economic Burden Associated with Tobacco Smoking, Excess Weight, Alcohol Consumption and Physical Inactivity in Canadian Men."

It found that all four of these activities can cost the Canadian economy as much as $36.9 billion every year.

The CMHF calculated this by looking at factors such as direct health care costs ($11.9 billion), short-term ($2.4 billion) and long-term disability ($8.6 billion), and premature death ($14 billion), then came up with the bill.

"Of this $36.9 billion, $13 billion is attributable to tobacco smoking, $11.9 billion to excess weight, $7.6 billion to alcohol consumption and $4.4 billion to physical inactivity," said a news release.

The highest per capita economic burden can be found in Newfoundland and Labrador, where the cost is $2,712, while British Columbia has the lowest at $1,944.

At 26.2 per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest proportion of people who smoke, as well as the highest proportion of men who carry excess weight, at 66.8 per cent.

The highest proportion of heavy drinkers can be found in Quebec, where they number 14.8 per cent. La Belle Province also has the highest proportion of inactive men, at 45.7 per cent.

And there's plenty Canadian men can do to reduce these costs, according to the CMHF.

The foundation said in an infographic that if men become more active, stop smoking, lose weight and quit drinking so much, the country could avoid 70 per cent of those economic costs.

It's not the first study to conclude that excess weight carries an economic cost.

Obesity, which is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, is estimated to cost anywhere between $4.6 and $7.1 billion in Canada, CBC News reported last year.

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) pointed out that obesity rates in Canada tripled bewteen 1985 and 2011, and estimated that as many as 21 per cent of the country's adults could be obese by 2019.

Meanwhile, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada has estimated that reducing smoking has benefited the country's economy to the tune of about $505 billion.

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