Oct 12, 2021 - News

About a third of Pennsylvanians self-reported obesity in 2020

Prevalence of self-reported obesity
Data: CDC; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Nearly a third of Pennsylvania's adult population reported having obesity in 2020, according to data released by the CDC last month.

  • Over 31% of Pennsylvania adults reported being obese last year, up from 28.6% a decade ago.

Why it matters: Obesity is linked to various health issues, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and mental disorders.

Between the lines: Racial disparities persist, with 41.8% of Black Pennsylvanians and 32.9% of Latino Pennsylvanians self-reporting obesity in 2020.

  • To compare, 31.3% of white Pennsylvanians are obese.

Context: Obesity is measured by body mass index, which is calculated with an individual's weight and height. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Zoom out: Nationwide, one in five adults are living with obesity — with Mississippi ranking the highest at 39.7%. Colorado had the lowest rate, 24.2%, last year.

  • Meanwhile, children and teens gained weight at an "alarming" rate during the pandemic, according to CDC officials.
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