Health
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2014


Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2014

What does this measure?

The percentage of adults who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. The index is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight. A person with a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, and those with a BMI over 30 are considered obese.

Why is this important?

Being overweight or obese puts a person at greater risk for a wide variety of serious health problems. Obesity is recognized as a national problem that has grown tremendously over the last three decades, contributing to increases in medical expenditures for treatment of related diseases.

How is our county performing?

In 2014, 65% of Berks County residents were either overweight or obese, which was similar to the state and nation. The county percentage was up 4 percentage points since 2002. Pennsylvania had a similar increase during the same period, while the U.S. had a larger increase of 6 percentage points. Berks County had a larger percentage of obese residents (34%) than the state or nation (both at 30%).

The percentage of overweight and obese residents in 2014 was similar to Berks in Schuylkill and smaller in Chester (59%), Lancaster (60%), Lebanon (62%) and Montgomery (63%). Only Lehigh had a larger percentage (68%). Since 2002, Chester and Schuylkill had percentage-point increases similar to Berks, driven by increases in the share of obese residents, even as the share of overweight residents declined in this time period. There were larger increases in Lehigh (6 percentage points) and Montgomery (10 points). Lancaster declined slightly, by 2 percentage points, while Lebanon had a slight increase of 2 points.

Notes about the data

Data come from a federal government survey designed to collect scientific data on health risks and behaviors. Respondents were asked for their height and weight for a computation of Body Mass Index.

Beginning in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control made two changes to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on which this indicator is based. The survey now includes cell-phone users, and a new statistical method is used to weight responses. As a result, changes from 2010 and years prior to 2011 and later may be a result of those technical changes rather than true trends.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2014
CombinedObeseOverweight
United States65%30%35%
Pennsylvania64%30%34%
Berks County65%34%31%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County59%21%38%
Lancaster County60%25%35%
Lebanon County62%28%34%
Lehigh County68%31%37%
Montgomery County63%25%38%
Schuylkill County65%34%31%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention








Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2002
CombinedObeseOverweight
United States59%22%37%
Pennsylvania60%24%36%
Berks County61%25%36%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County55%15%40%
Lancaster County62%24%38%
Lebanon County60%27%33%
Lehigh County62%25%37%
Montgomery County53%15%38%
Schuylkill County61%25%36%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention








INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population Ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Increasing
Local Government Spending Increasing
County Government Spending Decreasing
School District Spending Increasing
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on High School Reading Increasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage by Household Type Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Decreasing
Managed Medicaid Enrollment Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Adults Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Children Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Youth Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Occupied Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Maintaining
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Increasing
Tourism Spending Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income Increasing
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing