Prevalence of People Overweight, Obese (self-reported survey data)
What does this measure?
The percentage of adults 18 and over with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25, based on a national survey of residents. The index is a statistical measurement which compares a person's weight and height. It does not measure body fat but is a useful estimate of a healthy body weight based on a person’s height. A person with a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, and those over 30 are considered obese.
Why is this important?
Being overweight or obese puts a person at greater risk for a wide variety of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, some types of cancer and sleep apnea. Obesity is recognized as a national problem that has grown tremendously over the last three decades. Since 1980, the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese has quadrupled. Obesity is estimated to cost New York State more than $6 billion annually in direct medical expenditures for treatment of related diseases, as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
In 2008–2009, 64% of Cayuga County residents and 71% of Seneca County residents were reported to be either overweight or obese, while the state (excluding NYC) rate was 61% and national rate was 63%. Among the comparison counties, Wayne had the highest percentage of overweight or obese residents (72%) and Onondaga and Ontario had the lowest percentage (both 56%). In Seneca, 38% of residents were obese, compared to 28% in Cayuga and 24% in the state and 27% in the nation.
Notes about the data
Data come from a federal government survey designed to collect scientific data on health risks and behaviors. Respondents were asked for their height and weight for a computation of Body Mass Index. No comparable data were available for earlier years.