DefinitionPercentage of adults 18 years of age and older who are overweight as defined by a body mass index (BMI) of >= 25.0 and <30.0 as computed by the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/brfss/default.aspx Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)]. BMI is calculated as self-reported weight ("About how much do you weigh without shoes?") in kilograms divided by self-reported height ("About how tall are you without shoes?") in meters squared.
NumeratorWeighted number of adults (18+) who have a BMI of >= 25.0 and <30.0 calculated from self-reported weight ("About how much do you weigh without shoes?") and height ("About how tall are you without shoes?") on the BRFSS, excluding women who are pregnant and biologically implausible values.
DenominatorWeighted number of adults (18+) for whom BMI can be calculated from their self-reported weight and height on the BRFSS, excluding women who are pregnant, biologically implausible values, or "Do not know/Not Sure" or "Refused" responses.
Data Interpretation IssuesAlthough the prevalence of overweight is presented independent of obesity in this report, interpretation of the overweight results should be conducted in the context of data on obesity prevalence. Subpopulations may have relatively low rates of overweight paired with relatively high rates of obesity. It is the combination of overweight and obesity prevalence that gives the most complete picture of risk for weight-related health conditions.
Alaska data were obtained from the Standard BRFSS from 1991-2003, and from the Standard and Supplemental BRFSS surveys combined from 2004 onward. The Supplemental BRFSS survey is conducted using identical methodology as the Standard BRFSS and allows a doubling of the BRFSS sample size for those measures included in both surveys.
Post-stratification weights were used for Alaska prior to 2006; raking weights were used from 2007 onward. For more on this methodological change see: [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/brfss/method.aspx].
Questions on the height and weight of respondents have been components of the Standard BRFSS since its inception in 1991 and for the Supplemental BRFSS since it began in 2004.
Alaska Native people in analyses of the BRFSS refers to any mention of American Indian or Alaska Native heritage when enumerating racial and ethnic background. Individuals who indicate multiple races including American Indian/Alaska Native are considered Alaska Native in the data. When race and ethnicity are consider concurrently, Hispanic individuals with American Indian/Alaska Native heritage are combined into the Alaska Native (any mention) group and removed from the Hispanic class.
This definition of the Alaska Native group is intended to conform to the eligibility requirements for access to Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium health care services.
Why Is This Important?Two-thirds of Alaskans are overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the health care system. Obesity and overweight are determined by calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, and it is used to screen for weight categories that increase the risk of health problems.
Many adverse health outcomes are associated with overweight and obesity. Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer.^1^ It also negatively affects physical performance, life expectancy, and quality of life.^2^[[br]]
1. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Grosse Y, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer - Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med 2016;375:794-798.
2. Olshansky SJ, Passaro DJ, Hershow RC, Layden J, et al. A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. N Engl J Med 2005;352(11):1138-45.
Other ObjectivesHealthy Alaskans 2020 Indicator 4.a: Reduce the percentage of adults (age 18 years and older) who meet criteria for overweight (body mass index of >=25 and <30 kg/(m*m)) to 36% by 2020.
How Are We Doing?The percentage of Alaska adults who are overweight has remained relatively constant since 2000.
Additional interpretation on overweight in Alaska are available at: [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/Obesity/default.aspx].
Prevalence rates for overweight from the BRFSS are initially presented for all Alaskans, Alaska Native people, and the median from states, District of Columbia, and territories for all available years. This is followed by rates for combined overweight and obese for all Alaskans and Alaska Native people to show the rise in excess weight. Subsequent analyses by demographic subpopulations (i.e., sex, age, race/ethnicity, ethnicity, marital status, education, employment status, income, and poverty status) are limited to 2010 and later to allow for ease in assessing recent trends.
The rates of overweight by regions of Alaska are presented for the most recent time period allowing reporting for all Alaskans and Alaska Native people: 1) single-year for the 7 Alaska Public Health Regions, 2) single-year for the 11 behavioral health assessment regions based upon aggregations of 20,000 population, and 3) five-year averages for the 12 tribal health organization regions. These time intervals match those for the InstantAtlas health profiles for each of the geographic regionalizes of Alaska for those desiring longer time series.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The rate of overweight among Alaska adults has paralleled the rate seen in the United States overall.
What Is Being Done?The goal of the Physical Activity and Nutrition unit is to help Alaskans prevent and manage chronic diseases with regular physical activity and nutritious eating. Our work includes:
[[br]]a) Helping young Alaskans grow up healthy by improving physical activity and nutrition in schools and child care programs;
[[br]]b) Ensuring families receive support to start and continue breastfeeding their babies;
[[br]]c) Building a healthy labor force by improving the availability of healthy foods and drinks in workplaces;
[[br]]d) Connecting Alaskans to the places they live, learn, shop and work by promoting activity-friendly routes; and
[[br]]e) Educating the public through the Play Every Day campaign on ways to choose healthy foods and drinks and be physically active.