BCHC Data Brief: Examining Obesity and City Environment

January 2022

Over the past 20 years, the prevalence of adult obesity in the U.S. has increased two-fold from below 15% in 1990 to 31% by 2019 and nationwide, is expected to reach a staggering 50% by 2030. Public health concerns regarding obesity stem from it being one of the strongest risk factors for numerous morbidities including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, many types of cancers and osteoarthritis.

Public health agencies acknowledge that this rapid rise in obesity prevalence has been due to rapid changes in environmental conditions that have fueled consumption of higher calories and highly processed foods and beverages, as well as increased sedentary behaviors. Multiple domains of our environment are implicated in promoting obesity and discouraging weight loss; often cited are the inter-connected domains of natural and built environments, and economic and policy environments.

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the lead health officials of the nation’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote the health and safety of the 62 million people they serve. This brief uses data from the Big Cities Health Inventory (BCHI) data platform. The platform includes over 100 metrics related to health and allows for comparison of metrics across BCHC member jurisdictions (currently 29 cities) which are among the country’s largest, most urban cities. Visitors to the data platform can explore metrics, view data charts by city or select multiple cities for comparison, and download charts and data. Visit the BCHI data platform (bigcitieshealthdata.org) to learn more.

Download PDF 1.1MB

Using the Big Cities Health Inventory to Examine Obesity and City Environment

Download the Data Brief Using the Big Cities Health Inventory to Examine Obesity and City Environment