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Slow the Increase of Obesity

Preventing and reducing obesity is one of seven priority areas from Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. Progress is updated annually. Get the 2018 Progress Report for this priority or view current data highlights below.

Key Strategies

Population interventions

  • Increase the price of sugary drinks
  • Increase the number of private and public businesses and other places that adopt standards for healthy food and beverages, physical activity and breastfeeding
  • Increase opportunities for physical activity for adults and youth
  • Improve availability of affordable, healthy food and beverage choices

Health equity interventions

  • Increase the number of Department of Human Services (DHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) mental and behavioral health service providers that adopt standards for healthy food and beverages, physical activity and breastfeeding for clients and employees
  • Increase the number of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes who participate in the National Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Increase access to healthy foods in low income communities and with poor access to healthy foods
  • Increase number if American Indian/Alaska Natives participating in evidence-based lifestyle change programs, including the Diabetes Prevention Prgoram.
  • Build capacity among culturally specific organizations and communities disproportionately impacted by sugary beverage marketing. 

Health system interventions

  • Create incentives for private and public health plans and health care providers to decrease the prevalence of obesity
  • Increase the number of hospitals that meet baby-friendly standards
  • Ensure coverage for weight management and chronic disease self-management programs by private and public health plans
  • Adopt and implement standards for food and beverages sold or available at private and public health plans, clinics and hospitals

Obesity is the number two cause of preventable death in Oregon and nationally, second only to tobacco use.

  • Obesity related conditions account for 1,400 deaths in Oregon each year. Preventing obesity among Oregonians lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, stress and depression.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at increased risk for becoming obese as adults.
  • Each year, Oregon spends about $1.6 billion ($339 million paid by Medicaid) in medical expenses for obesity-related chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Annual medical costs of persons who are obese are estimated to be $1,429 higher than those who are not obese.
  • Nearly 48,000 hospitalizations were due to diabetes, heart disease and stroke in 2011, with a cost of nearly $1.5 billion.
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Priority Targets - Highlights

Chart showing obesity among 2 to five year olds in WIC is slowly trending downward 

Obesity among 2 to 5 year olds. This chart shows obesity among 2 to 5 year olds in WIC is slowly trending downward.
Obesity prevalence among 2 to 5 year olds
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
201Percentage 16.05% 15.99% 15.99% 15.83% 15.50% 15.40% 15.10% 15.30% 14.9% 15.5%
2020 Target 14.5% 14.5% 14.5% 14.5 %

Data source: WIC Administrative Data

Chart showing obesity prevalence among youth 

Obesity among youth. This chart shows obesity among 11th graders is increasing.
Obesity prevalence among youth
Year 2009 2011 2013 2015 2017 2018
Percentage 10% 12% 11% 13% 14%
2020 Target 10% 10% 10%

Data source: Oregon Healthy Teens Survey

Chart showing obesity among adults is holding steady at nearly one-third of adults 

Obesity among adults. This chart shows obesity among adults is holding steady at nearly 1/3 of adults.
Obesity prevalence among adults
Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Percentage 28% 27% 27% 27% 27% 29% 29% 29%
2020 Target 25% 25% 25%

Data source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Chart showing diabetes among adults 

Diabetes among adults. This chart shows diabetes among adults is increasing.
Diabetes prevalence among adults
Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Percentage 7.7% 8.3% 8.6% 8.5% 8.1% 9.1% 8.4% 8.6%
2020 Target 8% 8% 8%

Data source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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