Why Is This Important?Being overweight increases the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some cancers. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
Utahns have been gaining weight so rapidly that in 2016 almost two-thirds (61.6%) of all adults were overweight or obese (age-adjusted rate). The obesity epidemic among Utahns threatens to reverse the decades-long progress made in reducing death from chronic disease.
Overweight or Obese by Year, Utah and U.S., 1989-2016
The obesity rate for Utah has been steadily increasing. In 2016, Utah's overweight or obesity rate continued to be lower than the U.S. rate (61.6% vs 64.6%).
- Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
- U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
Data NotesOverweight or obese is defined as a BMI of 25 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.
In 2016, Utah BRFSS modified its methodology for age adjustment for increased precision. With this change Utah is consistent with both the U.S. and other states using IBIS. Data has been updated from 2011 onward in all chart views to reflect this change. [[br]]
[[br]] In 2011, the BRFSS changed its methodology from a landline only sample and weighting based on post-stratification to a landline/cell phone sample and raking as the weighting methodology. Raking accounts for variables such as income, education, marital status, and home ownership during weighting and has the potential to more accurately reflect the population distribution.
[[br]] Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.
[[br]] Note: At the time of this update, the BRFSS U.S. dataset did not include an age variable but did include five age categories up to age 80+ (vs. the typical weighting scheme that includes 85+). Comparisons with both weighting schemes were compared using Utah data, and the difference was about 1/100 of a percentage point.
Risk FactorsGenetic or familial factors may increase the risk for being overweight or obese for some people, but anyone whose calorie intake exceeds the number of calories they burn is at risk. Physical activity and a healthy diet are both important for maintaining a healthy weight.
How Are We Doing?The percentage of adults who were overweight or obese increased steadily in Utah and the U.S. in the last decade. In Utah, the percentage of overweight or obese individuals increased from 39.3% in 1989 to 61.6% in 2016. While the sampling method changed for 2011 data, this change was still similarly pronounced in the years immediately prior.
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.
EPICC works on Environmental Approaches that Promote Health. EPICC works:
1) Schools are encouraged to adopt the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. This framework encourages students to be physically active for 60 minutes a day through school, home and community activities.[[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.
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 [http://choosehealth.utah.gov choosehealth.utah.gov] website: [http://choosehealth.utah.gov/worksites/why-worksite-wellness.php]
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.
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.
1) Nine local health departments statewide have implemented 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.
Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weightU.S. Target: 33.9 percent
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/27/2017
- by Year, Utah and U.S., 1989-2016
- by Age and Sex, Utah, 2016
- by Ethnicity, Utah, 2016
- by Local Health District, Utah, 2016
- by Race, Utah, 2015-2016
- by Sex and Year, Utah, 1989-2016
- by Education, Utah Adults 25+, 2016
- by Income, Utah, 2016
- by Utah Small Area, 2015-2016