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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Obesity Among Adults

Why Is This Important?

Obesity can be costly and serious. Adults who are obese have an increased risk of hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis.

Adult Obesity, Utah and U.S., 1989-2019

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confidence limits
Obesity in the U.S. and in Utah continue to increase, although the increase in rates may be beginning to level off.

Data Sources

  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Notes

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.   [[br]]Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.[[br]] [[br]]U.S. data does not include U.S. territories, but does include Dist. of Columbia.[[br]] [[br]] Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data include both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. Comparisons between 2011 and prior years should be made with caution. More details about these changes can be found at: [].

Risk Factors

Genetics, family history, some diseases (e.g., polycystic ovary syndrome), and some drugs (e.g., steroids) are risk factors for obesity that are often outside of one's control. But there are things that people can do that can reduce their risk of obesity. Behaviors such as engaging in physical activity and having a healthy diet can have a significant impact on reducing the risk (see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Overweight & Obesity: Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences. []).

How Are We Doing?

Since 2000, the age-adjusted percentage of Utah adults (18+) who were obese has increased from 19.5% in 2000 to 29.9% in 2019. Nevertheless, Utah still has a lower obesity rate than most states. According to a recent ''State of Obesity'' report, Utah ranked 13th lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. See

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC) Program was established through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The EPICC Program focuses on environmental approaches that promote health, specifically promoting policies around healthy eating and active living. The EPICC Program works: In Schools:[[br]] 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 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 Health Improvement Plan--a public and private partnership--has selected worksites as their priority for the goal of Preventing Obesity and Related Chronic Conditions. A smaller workgroup, UHIP-O, works to create a culture of health within businesses in the state of Utah. 2) The Utah Council for Worksite Health Promotion recognizes businesses that offer employee fitness and health promotion programs.[[br]] 3) The EPICC Program partners with local health departments to encourage worksites to complete the CDC Scorecard and participate in yearly health risk assessment for their employees. The EPICC Program 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 food service guidelines, 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) The EPICC Program 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) Ten LHDs statewide have implemented the TOP Star program, which aims to improve the nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding environments and achieve best practice in child care centers and homes.[[br]] 2) The EPICC Program 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: Reduce the proportion of adults who are obese

U.S. Target: 30.5 percent
State Target: 24.0 percent

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 11/03/2020

Other Views

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 Mon, 26 July 2021 9:57:07 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Mon, 4 Jan 2021 15:19:20 MST