Health
Youth Who are Overweight or Obese, 2016


Youth Who are Overweight or Obese, 2016

What does this measure?

The share of students in grades 7-12 who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is at or above the 85th percentile for their age and gender. The index is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight. Children are considered overweight if their BMI is at or above the 85th percentile for their age and gender, and they are considered obese at or above the 95th percentile.

Why is this important?

Overweight children are at greater risk for many health problems, including high blood pressure and cholesterol, breathing problems, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems. Overweight children and adolescents are also more likely to face social and psychological problems, such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem, and to be overweight as adults.

How is our county performing?

In 2016, 38% of Berks County students in grades 7-12 were either overweight or obese, which was similar to the state as a whole (36%). The county percentage was up 6 percentage points since 2009. Pennsylvania only had a 2 percentage point increase during the same period. Berks County had a slightly higher percentage of obese grade 7-12 students (18%) as the state (17%).

The percentage of overweight and obese grade 7-12 students in 2016 was similar to Berks in Lebanon (37%), lower than Lancaster (34%) and much lower in Chester and Montgomery (both at 30%). Schuylkill (41%) had a larger percentage. Since 2009, Berks had the largest percentage point increase (6%) followed by Lancaster at 4 percentage points and Lebanon at 2 percentage points. Chester had a large decrease of 6 percentage points, Montgomery had no change in percentage, while Lehigh declined by 1 percentage point.

Notes about the data

BMI data are collected and reported annually by public school entities to the Pennsylvania Department of Health which then publishes annual reports at the county level. This information is published separately for students in grades K-6 and 7-12 and cannot be aggregated and thus is reported separately here as well.

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

Youth Who are Overweight or Obese, 2016
CombinedObeseOverweight
Pennsylvania36%19%17%
Berks County38%20%18%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County30%15%15%
Lancaster County34%18%16%
Lebanon County37%21%16%
Lehigh County39%18%20%
Montgomery County30%15%15%
Schuylkill County41%24%17%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health








Youth Who are Overweight or Obese, 2009
CombinedObeseOverweight
Pennsylvania34%17%16%
Berks County32%18%15%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County36%13%23%
Lancaster County30%15%15%
Lebanon County35%19%16%
Lehigh County40%16%24%
Montgomery County30%12%18%
Schuylkill County38%22%17%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health








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