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  Obesity Prevention

More Information
Good Nutrition

Physical Activity

Assess Your Health

Healthy People 2010

Other Healthy Resources


Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods and being physically active can prevent or control many of our most troubling health problems.  The time for Pennsylvanians to live healthier is now.  Recent reports show that obesity has risen in Pennsylvania at an epidemic rate during the past 20 years.  The 2002 Pennsylvania Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) indicated that 60% of adult Pennsylvanians were overweight or obese (BMI>25), and that 25% of adults were physically inactive.  To check your BMI now click here. One study of Pennsylvania youth found that nearly 18% were overweight, a figure higher than the national average. To find out more see the Pennsylvania Assessment of Overweight Children and Youth Report. Attributing to obesity over the years, an increasing number of food choices have been offered to children in schools outside of the school meals programs. These so-called "competitive foods" are often low in nutrient density and may affect the viability of the school meals programs. While federal regulations require school meals to meet nutrient standards and the Dietary Guidelines, the extent of federal regulation of competitive foods is minimal. To read the latest on competitive foods the Assessment of Competitive Foods Sold in Pennsylvania High Schools Report is available.

Individuals who are overweight, inactive, and do not adopt healthy eating habits are at an increased risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, osteoarthritis, endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancer, and psychological disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and distorted body image.  The good news is that these conditions can be prevented and Pennsylvania is ready to meet the challenge. 

Pennsylvania's Plan
The Pennsylvania Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan (PaNPA Plan) was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and its stakeholders.  Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activity (PANA) is funded by the Department of Health to improve nutrition and physical activity statewide through policy and environment interventions.

Find out more about healthy living in Pennsylvania at the links above.