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Overweight and Obesity among Children by California Cities - 2010

June 1, 2012

Fact Sheet

Authors: Susan H. Babey, PhD, Joelle Wolstein, PhD, MPP, MA, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS, et al

The California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released data on the childhood obesity epidemic in California cities. This publication, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows the health of California's children is all over the map with discrepancies based on locale.
To determine California's 2010 childhood by city, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examined geographical variation in overweight and obesity among 5th, 7th, and 9th grade school children in California using data from the California Department of Education’s 2010 Physical Fitness Tests.
Over 250 California cities were analyzed for the study and revealed that while 38 percent of the state's children are overweight or obese, city ranges begin as low as 11 percent (Manhattan Beach) and climb five-fold to 53 percent for the state's poorest performing city (Huntington Park).

Authors recommend several policy recommendations to address the conditions in schools and communities that contribute to the overweight and obesity epidemic. Some of these policy steps include eliminating the advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth and making school recreational facilities available for after-hours use by children and families.

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