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 2014-16, 69% of residents in Berks and Schuylkill counties were either overweight or obese, which was higher than the state and nation (both at 65%). The counties' percentage was up 3 percentage points from 2011-13. Pennsylvania held steady and the U.S. increased 1 percentage point during the same period. Berks and Schuylkill counties had a similar percentage of overweight residents (35%) and a larger percentage of obese residents (34%) as the state and nation.

The percentage of overweight and obese residents in Berks and Schuylkill counties in 2014-16 was higher than in all the comparison counties. It was most similar to the percentage in Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties (66%). Of the comparison counties, Chester County had the lowest percentage of overweight or obese residents at 57%. Unlike Berks and Schuylkill's increase, Chester; Lancaster; and Dauphin and Lebanon all saw decreases in their rates from 2011-13 to 2014-16, with Chester decreasing by 2 percentage points and the others decreasing by 6 percentage points. Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton and Montgomery had no change in the same time period.

Notes about the data

Data come from a federal government survey designed to collect scientific data on health risks and behaviors. The data reported are for moving three-year averages. Berks and Schuylkill county data is combined by the survey and reported together. Similarly, Dauphin and Lebanon counties and Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties are reported as groups of counties.

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%
Pennsylvania65%30%35%
Berks County
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County57%18%39%
Lancaster County60%26%34%
Lebanon County
Lehigh County
Montgomery County62%24%38%
Schuylkill County
Dauphin, Lebanon62%30%32%
Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton66%31%35%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention








Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2011
CombinedObeseOverweight
United States64%28%36%
Pennsylvania65%29%35%
Berks County
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County59%23%36%
Lancaster County66%28%38%
Lebanon County
Lehigh County
Montgomery County62%25%37%
Schuylkill County
Dauphin, Lebanon68%31%37%
Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton66%29%37%

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
Vacant 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