OC Kids Are 3% Less Fat, But Childhood Obesity Lingers in California

Categories: School Daze
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​Way to go, Orange County kids. You've lost a bit of chub. Have a small, whole-grain snack. 

A study released today by UCLA and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy found that the state's overall rate of overweight and obese children fell by 1 percent from 2005 to 2010, with the rate in Orange County dropping by 3 percent. Data was taken from the results of the California Physical Fitness Test, administered annually to fifth-, seventh-, and ninth-graders.  

It's a baby step in the right direction, but the overall stats are still alarming. In 2010, 38 percent of California school kids were overweight or obese. And while statewide numbers improved, obesity rates actually increased in 31 out of 58 counties. The study cites race disparities--Hispanic, African American and American Indian kids have higher rates of obesity than white children. Asian children tend to have the lowest rates of obesity, but have also experienced considerable increases in recent decades.

Experts recommend more school programs that promote physical activity and less marketing of junk food to children.

"Targeting efforts toward communities most in need can maximize the impact of such interventions," the study says. 

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