Obesity Prevention and Wellness Program

The Pennsylvania Obesity Prevention and Wellness Program goals are to:

  • Increase health-related physical activity through population-based approaches.
  • Improve those aspects of dietary quality most related to the population burden of chronic disease and unhealthy child development.
  • Decrease prevalence of obesity through preventing excess weight gain and maintenance of healthy weight loss.

Common Modifiable Risk Factors

  • The causes of chronic disease are well established and a small set of common risk factors are responsible for most of the main chronic diseases.  These risk factors are modifiable and the same in men and women:
  1. unhealthy diet;
  2. physical inactivity; and
  3. tobacco use.

The below links provide further information about obesity trends in Pennsylvania and strategies that are addressing obesity in youth and adults in Pennsylvania.

This report documents 1) the total number of students in grades K-6 and grades 7-12 respectively, in public and private/non-public schools combined, who were weighed, measured, and for whom Body Mass Index (BMI) and BMI-for-Age Percentile was calculated, and 2) the number and percentage of these students who ranked in one of four percentile ranges.  Reports are submitted by school districts, charter schools, and comprehensive vocational-technical schools; data is presented by health district and by county.

Note: BMI screenings were mandatory for grades K-4 in school year 2005-06, mandatory for grades K-8 in school year 2006-07, and mandatory for grades K-12 in school year 2007-08 and beyond; however, many educational entities performed the growth screen and calculated the BMI-for-Age Percentile for students in additional grades for each school year prior to school year 2007-08.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has additional resources for maintaining a healthy weight and obesity prevention.

Contact Information:

Obesity Prevention and Wellness Program

PA Department of Health

Room 1000 H & W Building

625 Forster St.

Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701

Phone: 717-787-5876