Obesity & physical activity in Erie county

Obesity & Physical Activity

Analysis Categories

What does this measure?

Obesity and Physical Activity rates by age group, sex, educational attainment, and income level. Banded in 3 year increments since 2000 for both Erie County and Pennsylvania. Obesity is defined as those with a BMI over 30. Physical activity data in regards to physical activity during leisure time.

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. Active adults are likely to be healthier than their inactive counterparts, leading to a higher quality of life and lower long-term health costs. Exercise can control weight, improve physical strength and mental health, and reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers.

How is Erie County doing?

Age

Physical Activity in Erie County's age groupings 18-44 and 45-65 edges out the PA rates marginally, but Obesity rates among those groups is higher than PA, especially in ages 18 – 44 where Obesity rates are 13% higher.

Education Attainment

Compared by educational attainment, leisure time physical activity matches closely with the PA statewide trends, but obesity has Erie County residents at higher rates across the board. For both high school and college graduates, obesity in Erie County is 7% higher than the state average, and for those with some college or associates degree it's 2%. 

Income

Compared by income levels, leisure time physical activity matches closely with the PA statewide trends, but obesity has Erie County residents at higher rates across the board. While all obesity trends have Erie County residents at a higher percentage of obesity than the state, particularly amongst the income range from $25,000 to $49,999 the obesity rate is 8% higher in Erie County (41%) than the state average (33%).

Over Time

Both leisure-time physical activity and obesity rose between the 2012 to 2014 and 2015 to 2017 year bands, by 1% and 5% respectively. A note to the limited scope of these variables' trends: according to the PA Department of Health, "In 2011, a new weighting methodology was adopted along with the inclusion of cell phones in the survey. Due to this change, statistics for years prior to 2011 should not be compared to statistics from 2011 to present.". 

EVS Indicators

EVS analyzes the data in each topic category using indicators, which report a targeted and digestible number, rate, or amount to represent Erie County as a whole. While this does not cover every aspect of the topic, it assists in establishing Erie's performance relative to the prior year(s). The indicators for the Health: Obesity & Physical Activity topic are:

 

This indicator measures the percentage of the total Erie County population who are obese (have a BMI GE 30) for the latest data year. The trend for Obesity is down and better for the 2015 to 2017 period with a reported decrease of -4.0% within the County.

 

This indicator measures the percentage of the total Erie County population engaging in leisure-time physical activity. The trend for Physical Activity During Leisure Time is down and worse for the 2015 to 2017 period with a reported decrease of -3.0% within the County.

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the PA Department of Health as of 2018.