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Health Care Final 11-16-11 -   3.1.b - Annual Rate of Increase in Adult Obesity

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Health Care Final 11-16-11
Healthy State
Action Plan

3.1.b - Annual Rate of Increase in Adult Obesity
Is obesity increasing at a slower rate?

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Data Notes
Data Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), 1990-2010; data available annually in September.
Measure Definition: The average annual change in percent of adults who are obese.
Target Rationale: Slowing the rate of growth in the prevalence of obesity must occur before we begin to see decreases in the percentage of adults who are obese in Washington. Gradually decreasing the rate of change to 0.55 percentage points per year by 2013 is very ambitious given the relentless increase in obesity we have experienced.  If the rate of change continues to drop after we achieve our target in 2013, then by 2023 the prevalence of obesity will reach its maximum (31 percent) and start declining. The Healthy People national target is 30.6 percent of adults aged 20 years and older are obese by 2020 (10 percent improvement from 2005-2008 baseline of 34.0 percent from NHANES).
Link to Agency Strategic Plan:

Goal 1:  Improve health outcomes for the people of Washington.

Strategy 1: Increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

Performance Measure 1: Slow the annual rate of increase in adult obesity.


Obesity is a major contributor to chronic disease. Chronic disease accounts for 75 percent of Washington's medical costs.

Notes (optional)
Also Available:
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Display Drill Down Measures


 Summary Analysis

  • The Healthy Communities Program addresses common risk factors for chronic disease including obesity, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and tobacco use. Counties where chronic disease, like obesity, is more common were selected to be a part of the program. 
  • Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of adults with obesity increased by about one percentage point per year and is now at 26 percent (1.3 million people).
  • If the current trend continues, 30 percent of adults (1.6 million) will be obese by 2013.
  • If we gradually slow the rate of change to about a half a percentage point per year (0.55/year) by 2013, 44,900 fewer adults will be obese.
  • Factors contributing to the rise in obesity include changes in food choices and processing, sedentary lifestyles, and decreased access to physical activity opportunities.
  • In some counties obesity is higher than the overall state.

Action Plan

What: Increase the number of local health agencies adopting evidence-based strategies to decrease obesity.

Who:  Grinnell/DOH; local health agencies.

When: June 2013