It is estimated that investing $10 per person, per year, in proven community-based programs aimed at increasing physical activity, improving nutrition, and preventing smoking and other tobacco use, could save the country more than $16 billion annually within 5 years – a return of $5.60 for every $1 invested.

Obesity Rates in Rensselaer County and the United States

  • Approximately two thirds of US adults and one-fifth of US children are obese.
  • The percentage of children with obesity has more than tripled since 1970.
  • Percentage of obese adults in New York State more than doubled from 10% in 1977 to 25% in 2015.

Percentage of New York State middle and high school students (excluding New York City) who were overweight or obese, 2005 vs. 2012-2014 (SWSCR)

Obesity and Chronic Disease

  • Obesity is linked to many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, asthma, sleep apnea, and mental health problems.
  • Excessive weight gain of 11-18 pounds can double the risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Excessive weight gain of 10-20 pounds increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25% in women, and 60% in men.

The Economics of Obesity

  • In New York State, obesity costs almost $9 billion annually in direct expenditures for treatment of obesity-related disease, as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity.


Measuring Overweight and Obesity

Sources: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2013-2014. https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Expanded-Behavioral-Risk-Factor-Surveillance-Surve/jsy7-eb4n
Costs are expressed in 2013 dollars. Cost estimates are calculated by applying published estimates of per-person direct medical costs of overweight and obesity to the number of overweight and obese people in each county reported in the eBRFSS dataset (see methodology section).