Select Key Metrics on Obesity & Diabetes


Percent of adults with body mass index (BMI)* greater than or equal to 30kg/m.


Percent of adults with current detected diabetes (type I or type II). 


*We acknowledge that BMI is a flawed health indicator, particularly for people of color. However, we are limited by the criteria used to generate publicly available data on obesity, as defined by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and World Health Organization based on BMI.



Rates of obesity are higher for Black and Hispanic adults in Philadelphia with disparities emerging in childhood for Hispanic boys and both Black and Hispanic girls.

Obesity can impact overall health, including creating a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as impacting mental health and quality of life. 


Obesity Prevalence

Source: School District of Philadelphia | 2014/15, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Household Health Survey | 2014/15


Diabetes Prevalence

Source: Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Household Health Survey | 2014/15 

Black adults experience the highest rates of diabetes in Philadelphia.


Uncontrolled diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.


A history of discriminatory social and economic policies and practices has led to residential segregation and concentration of socioeconomic disadvantage among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black communities in Philadelphia.

Individual socioeconomic status, neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation, and residential segregation have been tied to increased risk for obesity among children and adults, as well as risk of diabetes-related mortality

Diet and exercise are important components of obesity and diabetes prevention and treatment, yet neighborhood conditions limit access to healthy food and opportunities for exercise for many Black Philadelphians.

Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community

The Jefferson College of Population Health is coordinating the Philadelphia Diabetes Prevention Collaborative, a group of local stakeholders working to design multi-pronged public health efforts to prevent Type 2 diabetes and enroll 2,000 area participants in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The National DPP focuses on behavior changes related to healthy eating and physical activity. 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly nutrition and physical activity program is working to create healthier environments in Philadelphia by bringing better food options to neighborhoods with lower median incomes, improving neighborhood safety to increase physical activity, and promoting awareness of healthy behaviors. 

Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.