Per this New York Times SchoolBook article, the rate of obesity dropped in New York City to 207 children per 1,000 in the 2010-11 school year, down from 219 five years earlier.
This means that 20.7 percent were still considered obese, but overall this is good news considering that, as the city’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley, notes: “This comes after decades of relentless increases…What’s impressive is the fact that it’s [the obesity rate] falling at all.”
Across the country, recent studies have shown childhood obesity rates remaining flat or slightly increasing. Los Angeles County, which has also conducted a campaign against sugary drinks, had a decline of 2.5 percent during the same period, according to a study by the U.C.L.A. Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
The study was cautious in its language, warning, “A causal relationship cannot be inferred between the fitness interventions implemented by New York City in schools and the decrease in prevalence of child obesity described in this report.” But it said the decreases in obesity “might” indicate that changes in the school or home environment were important.
MCNtalk has talked about obesity rates, particularly among school children, extensively in the past year (Apple juice can pose a health risk; What is in the best interest of the child; Understanding the causes of obesity; Who’s really to blame for childhood obesity?), in general because it’s a serious problem for our nation’s health and in particular because of obesity’s impact upon the workforce, workers’ compensation, and disability problems. But then again maybe we blog about it a lot because it’s what people talk about a lot, especially through the holiday season with holiday meals and treats everywhere…and, oh yes, New Year’s resolutions.
The good news is that there are 6500 fewer obese children in the New York City school district now than there were five years ago. That’s a very, very important step for their lifelong health. The bad news is that while we may know how to talk about the problem all too well, we still have 20% of the NYC youth obese, not to mention those who are “just overweight.” Read more…