Key Point

249,739 (31%) adults and 123,495 (16%) children in our community are considered to be obese.

Let’s Break It Down

We see different trends in various parts of our community, but overall, obesity is on the rise.

An adult who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30 is considered obese. A child is considered obese if they are in the 95th percentile of BMI or greater. The percentile range is based on their age and gender. While the methods of identifying obesity are often debated, they give us some indicator of health. Since 2011, the rate of adults in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro who are considered obese has trended upwards. Obesity rates in Pottawattamie County have increased to 41% (38,114 adults) in 2015, up from 35% in 2011. Sarpy County rates decreased slightly to 30% (48,818 adults) and Douglas County stayed consistent at 29% (152,163 adults) since 2011.

Why Does It Matter?

Obesity may lead to multiple health problems, mental health concerns, and a shorter life span.

Those who are considered overweight or obese statistically have a higher risk of other health problems. People considered obese may develop diabetes or other weight-related diseases, may live shorter lives, and may experience depression or other mental health conditions.

Your likelihood of becoming obese increases when you lack access to healthy food or exercise. As a result, people who live in food deserts or neighborhoods where they feel unsafe going outside, those without access to regular transportation, and individuals with other health challenges have even more barriers to living a healthy lifestyle.

 

How do we compare?

Our obesity rates are higher in some counties than the national average.

Nationally, 29% percent of adults are considered obese, which is slightly lower than in the metro area. Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties were above the national average in both 2011 and 2015. Of children in our community, 16% were considered obese in 2015, which is higher than the national average of 14%.

Data Source: 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment, 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment & 2015 Children’s Health Needs Assessment (geographic area includes Douglas, Sarpy, Cass and Pottawattamie Counties)

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