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Obesity among state's low-income teens nearly triple that of more affluent peers
Date:12/10/2008

brief's authors also called for greater opportunities for physical activity and education, as well as campaigns to promote family dinners and discourage excessive television viewing.

"The disparity in teen obesity prevalence among low-income and more affluent communities should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and chief executive officer of The California Endowment, which funded the policy brief. "Where we live plays a critical role in shaping our health status. Elected officials can help improve the environmental factors that contribute to the poor health of Californians through local ordinances and statewide policy."

Among the findings of the policy brief:

  • More sugary soda: 67 to 71 percent of low-income teens reported having at least one glass or can of soda on the previous day, compared with 55 percent of more affluent teens.
  • More fast food: 46 to 49 percent of low-income teens reported eating fast food on the previous day, compared with 37 percent of more affluent teens.
  • Fewer family meals: Up to 11 percent of low-income teens reported that they had never eaten dinner with a parent or guardian during the previous week. The rate is twice that of more affluent teens.
  • Fewer opportunities for organized sports: 36 to 37 percent of low-income teens were on a school sports team in the previous year, compared with 49 percent of more affluent teens.
  • Less physical activity: Nearly one in five, or 18 percent, of low-income teens did not get at least 60 minutes of physical activity in a week the minimum amount of physical activity recommended by the 2005 federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • More television: 56 percent of low-income teens watch more than two hours of television per day, compared with 46 percent of more affluent teens.


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

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