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California making headway in battle against childhood obesity but successes are uneven
Date:11/9/2011

ccording to the study, children who are overweight or obese often grow up to be obese adults with increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes and some cancers. What's more, the study says, California spends more public and private money on the health consequences of obesity than any other state more than $21 billion annually.

In 2004, California began implementing a series of state laws banning sugary drinks and junk food from public school campuses. That, along with other local and statewide policies addressing the availability, marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods and an increased emphasis on healthier food and expanding opportunities for physical activity, may be contributing to the statewide improvements revealed in this study.

"California led the nation in establishing many of the most innovative programs and policies that are improving our children's chances for a healthier life," said the CCPHA's Harold Goldstein, Dr.P.H. "Increased awareness and a growing array of school and community policies and programs are beginning to have an impact. But in light of the huge number of counties where childhood obesity rates continue to climb, our efforts must continue and even expand, especially in those areas where we now know children are most at risk."

Data for the study was drawn from the California Physical Fitness Test (Fitnessgram), which is administered annually to all California public school students in grades five, seven and nine. Measured height and weight data from the test were used to calculate body mass index (BMI), and BMI was used to determine rates of overweight and obesity, based on the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sex-specific BMI-for-age growth charts.


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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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