Obesity & Physical Activity
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.
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.
Erie County's age groupings 18-44 and 65+ report higher percentages of lacking physical activity (23% and 37% of the total county population respectively), but Obesity rates among those groups is lower than PA, especially in ages 65+ where Obesity rates are 6% lower.
Compared by educational attainment, leisure time physical activity matches closely with the PA statewide trends, but obesity has Erie County residents at lower rates across the board. The highest disparity occurs in residents with some college or an associate's degree, for which 29% of Erie County's population measure as obese, compared to 34% of Pennsylvania.
Compared by income levels, leisure time physical activity matches closely with the PA statewide trends, but obesity has Erie County residents at lower rates specific to the low-income category. While all obesity trends have Erie County residents at a lower percentage of obesity than the state, particularly amongst the income range less than $25,000 the obesity rate is 7% lower in Erie County (30%) than the state average (37%).
Obesity in Erie County PA fell between the 2015-to-2017 year band and the 2017-to-2019 year band by 7%, performing markedly better than the state average, which rose in that same time period. 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 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 set. The trend for Obesity was down and better for the 2017 to 2019 period with a reported decrease of -7.0% 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 was down and worse for the 2017 to 2019 period with a reported decrease of -2.0% within the County.
Data from the PA Department of Health as of 2/2023.
To download the data, select the icon in the lower right corner of the table above.