Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 30

Health2Wellness

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness

THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT:
Obesity
In 2016, Reading Hospital and local partners conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment that
identified key health issues in Berks County. One of those health issues is obesity, with about two in
three residents in Berks County - or 200,000 adults - overweight or obese.

A

ccording to The Community Health Needs Assessment, about
two in three residents in Berks County, or 200,000 adults, are
overweight or obese. The 1998 National Institute of Health Overweight
and Obesity Clinical Guidelines defines overweight as a body mass
index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 and obesity as a BMI of ≥30 kg/
m2. BMI correlates well with total body fat on a population basis;
however, it has limitations identifying excess abdominal fat which
is independently associated with greater health risks. For example,
men who have waist circumferences greater than 40 inches, and
women who have waist circumferences greater than 35 inches are
at a higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

30 Women2Women Summer 2018

Given its contribution to serious health problems such as heart
disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers it is no wonder
why obesity is a top priority in Berks County. However, it is not
just the prevalence of obesity and health risks associated with it
that makes headlines but also the detrimental cost it continues
to incur on the economy. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
estimated the annual medical cost of obesity in 2008 to be $147
billion in U.S. dollars.
Addressing obesity is more than just weight loss; it requires
a multifaceted approach to education and promoting behavior



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Summer 2018

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