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
United States66%31%35%
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
United States64%28%36%
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








INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Increasing
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population ratio Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Decreasing
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Increasing
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Quality Early Childhood Centers Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Decreasing
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Maintaining
Living Wage Maintaining
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Increasing
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Increasing
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
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 Decreasing
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing