Health
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2016-18


Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2016-18

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 2016-18, 73% of residents in Berks and Schuylkill counties were either overweight or obese, which was higher than the state and nation (both at 66%). The counties' percentage was up 7 percentage points from 2011-13. Pennsylvania's rate increased by 1 percentage point and the U.S. rate decreased by 2 percentage points during the same period.

The percentage of overweight and obese residents in Berks and Schuylkill counties in 2016-18 was higher than in all the comparison counties. It was closest to the percentage in Lancaster counties (69%). Of the comparison counties, Chester County had the lowest percentage of overweight or obese residents at 56%. Unlike Berks and Schuylkill's increase, Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton, Chester, and Dauphin and Lebanon all saw decreases of around 3% in their rates from 2011-13 to 2016-18. Lancaster rose by 3%, 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, 2016-18
CombinedObeseOverweight
Pennsylvania66%31%35%
Berks County
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County56%19%37%
Lancaster County69%36%33%
Lebanon County
Lehigh County
Montgomery County62%27%35%
Schuylkill County
Berks, Schuylkill73%34%39%
Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton63%31%32%
Dauphin, Lebanon66%31%35%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health
Notes: Luzerne county numbers are 3 year average of adjacent years








Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, 2011-13
CombinedObeseOverweight
Pennsylvania65%29%36%
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
Berks, Schuylkill66%32%34%
Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton66%29%37%
Dauphin, Lebanon68%31%37%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health
Notes: Luzerne county numbers are 3 year average of adjacent years








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