Health report shows 74% of Franklin County adults are overweight or obese

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CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Health professionals say the data is alarming in Franklin County, following a community health needs assessment by Summit Health. It found nearly three-quarters of adults in the county are considered overweight or obese.

That percentage has gone up 9% since the last time the assessment was done in 2015. According to the most recent data from the CDC, from 2015 to 2016, 71.6% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese.

“We all have a significant amount of work ahead,” said Ann Spottswood, director of community services for Summit Health.

If you look at just obesity, that number sits at 41% in Franklin County, up 11% from four years ago. As to why that number is going up, it’s not necessarily an easy answer.

“Many of the factors that are associated with obesity are the messages we get in the media, our social factors, our family factors, the factors that are associated with institutions such as school systems and our workplace,” said Spottswood.

The question now is how do you turn this around? Better education at school is one way.

“To create community gardens in areas where there’s not as many fruits and vegetables,” said Barbara Rossini, vice president for planning and community relations for Summit Health.

In light of these new findings, local health professionals say they’re confident their work to bring more programs to the area that emphasize healthier living will soon show a new trend developing.

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