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Health Indicator Report of Obesity Among Adults

Adults who are obese are at increased risk of morbidity from hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Only smoking may exceed obesity in contributing to total U.S. mortality rates.
The highest rate of obesity is seen for Pacific Islander adults. The lowest rate is reported for Asian adults, but the estimate has a coefficient of variation greater than 30% and therefore deemed unreliable.

Adult Obesity by Race, Utah, 2015


Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.   [[br]] [[br]] Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population with three age groups.[[br]] [[br]] Unreliable estimate: the estimate has a coefficient of variation greater than 30% and therefore deemed unreliable.

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Respondents tend to overestimate their height and underestimate their weight leading to underestimation of BMI and the prevalence of obesity. To reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS has changed survey methodology. In 2010, it began conducting surveys by cellular phone in addition to landline phones. It also adopted "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) as its weighting method. More details about these changes can be found at: [].


Percentage of respondents aged 18 years and older who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30.0 kg/m^2^ calculated from self-reported weight and height.


Number of respondents aged 18 years and older who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30.0 kg/m^2^ calculated from self-reported weight and height.


Number of respondents aged 18 years and older for whom BMI can be calculated from their self-reported weight and height (excludes unknowns or refusals for weight and height).

Healthy People Objective NWS-9:

Reduce the proportion of adults who are obese
U.S. Target: 30.5 percent
State Target: 24.0 percent

How Are We Doing?

According to a recent report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Utah has the fifth lowest adult obesity rate in the nation (see [] ''The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America'', September 2014). In just 15 years, the age-adjusted proportion of obese Utah adults increased from 19.5% in 2000 to 25.0% in 2015. While the sampling method changed for 2011 data, this change was still similarly pronounced in the years immediately prior. The highest rates of obesity were seen for adults ages 50 to 64. Age-adjusted rates are used to compare rates for race and local health districts to account for the differences in ages. In 2015, the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and the American Indian/Alaskan Native populations had significantly higher rates than the state. An estimated 26.8 percent of Hispanic/Latino adults were obese.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in Utah adults is slightly lower than the U.S. In 2015, the obesity prevalence rate in Utah adults was 25.0%. The obesity prevalence for U.S. adults in 2015 was 28.8%.

What Is Being Done?

In 2013, through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program (EPICC) was established. Within Domain 2--Environmental Approaches that Promote Health--EPICC works: In Schools:[[br]] 1) Schools are encouraged to apply for the Healthy Schools program through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Participation in this program assists schools to set up policy and environmental supports that make it easier for students and staff to be physically active and eat healthy food.[[br]] 2) Height and weight trends are being tracked in a sample of elementary students to monitor Utah students.[[br]] 3) Action for Healthy Kids brings partners together to improve nutrition and physical activity environments in Utah's schools by implementing the school-based state plan strategies, working with local school boards to improve or develop policies for nutritious foods in schools. This includes recommendations for healthy vending options. In Worksites:[[br]] 1) The Utah Council for Worksite Health Promotion recognizes businesses that offer employee fitness and health promotion programs.[[br]] 2) EPICC partners with local health departments to encourage worksites to complete the CDC Scorecard and participate in yearly health risk assessment for their employees. EPICC provides toolkits and other resources for employers interested in implementing wellness programs through the [] website: [] In Communities:[[br]] 1) Local health departments (LHDs) receive federal funding to partner with schools, worksites, and other community based organizations to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets and retail stores. LHDs also work with cities within their jurisdictions to create a built environment that encourages physical activity. In Healthcare:[[br]] 1) EPICC works with health care systems to establish community clinical linkages to support individuals at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension to engage in lifestyle change programs such as chronic disease self-management and diabetes prevention programs. In Childcare:[[br]] 1) LHDs statewide are implementing the TOP Star program, which aims to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments and achieve best practice in child care centers and homes.[[br]] 2) EPICC works with state and local partners through the Childcare Obesity Prevention workgroup to implement policy and systems changes in early care and education across agencies statewide.

Evidence-based Practices

The EPICC program promotes evidence based practices collected by the Center TRT. The Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT) bridges the gap between research and practice and supports the efforts of public health practitioners working in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention by: *Reviewing evidence of public health impact and disseminating population-level interventions; *Designing and providing practice-relevant training both in-person and web-based; *Addressing social determinants of health and health equity through training and translation efforts; and, *Providing guidance on evaluating policies and programs aimed at impacting healthy eating and physical activity. [[br]] Appropriate evidence based interventions can be found at: []

Available Services

Gold Medal School Initiative - for more information, call 801-538-6142 Action for Healthy Kids Local School Policy CD - for more information, call 801-538-6142 The Utah Department of Health has established a program, Healthy Living through Environment, Policy and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC). The EPICC website has information on heart disease and stroke prevention on []. Utah Worksite Wellness Council is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers from organizations across Utah. Information is available at [].
Page Content Updated On 12/14/2016, Published on 12/27/2016
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 29 April 2017 9:38:19 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 17:56:13 MST