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Close to Half Of Suisun City Children Are Overweight, Study Says

The rate is the highest in Solano County, according to a new UCLA study.

New data shows childhood obesity persisting throughout the state, and presents troubling figures on the local level.

Suisun City has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children in Solano County— nearly half of kids in the city fall into those categories, according to the study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

The first-of-its-kind study breaks down the statistics city by city. It shows Suisun City leads the county with 46.3 percent, compared to lowest Benicia at 29.9 percent. Fairfield has 39.3 percent. The figure for California is 38 percent.

Overweight and Obesity among Children by California City–2010 analyzes more than 250 California cities, finding “shocking discrepancies based on locale,” according to the report.

The cities studied showed a range from nearly 1 in 10 children being overweight or obese on the low end, to more than half of children falling into the category on the high end.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the study used data from the California Department of Education’s 2010 Physical Fitness Tests to examine geographical variation in overweight and obesity among 5th, 7th, and 9th grade school children.

Researchers analyzed three cities in the county. Ranked from highest to lowest, the local statistics are:

  • Suisun City, 46.3 percent
  • Vallejo, 43.7 percent
  • Fairfield, 39.3 percent
  • Vacaville, 36.3 percent
  • Benicia, 29.9 percent

Policy recommendations urge state and local leaders to improve conditions in schools and communities to help make healthy lifestyle choices easier for children and their parents.

Suggestions include removing high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie foods and beverages from school districts, opening school recreational facilities after hours for community use, and making streets and roadways more accessible for those who walk, bike and use wheelchairs.

To read the findings and policy recommendations, as well as see how all cities ranked, click here.

Garry Rowe June 16, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Anna, it was a simpler time when were kids, for sure. About 7 or 8 years ago, I started getting pre-diabetes symptons. I was maybe 25 pounds overweight and had a decent exercise program. The Atkins diet was popular at the time. I read the book and it's very educational for learning how your body metobolizes food and the imact on blood sugar. Basically, anything with refined flour has the same impact on blood sugar levels as eating sugar right out of the box. There are so many products on the grocery shelves labeled as "Low Fat" or Non Fat." Shoppers need to read the full nutritional info and the ingredients. I used to eat Low Fat Pop Tarts for breakfast. Two of them were a reasonable amount of calories and less than 6 grams of fat. A seemingly healthy (or at least not unhealthy) breakfast. The stated service size 1 Pop Tart. We all know that most people eat two as a serving. Those two "Low Fat" Pop tarts have 34 grams of sugar and a total of 80 grams of Carbohydrates, all metobolized as sugar. That's the equivelant of having two 12 ounce Cokes for breakfast. The difficult question is, how to educate?
Anna Moscarelli June 16, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I hear ya Garry! Our first teachers should always be our parents/grandparents but! you know this is not happening now.. But, the kids shouldn't suffer for this so other sources are needed. Having sources in school. Someone going school to school teaching good nutrition..in a way the kids can relate with...i.e. cartoons, computers etc.... You're probably asking where will the money come from for this? I am asking it too. I hate to get Government involved but I feel the money could be found somehow. Grants? Hitting up the 'rich.' Educating at places kids hang out at? Having an incentive for them to learn...free movie passes? whatever? Just throwing out thoughts. Any more suggestions out there?
Garry Rowe June 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Anna, don't get me started on govt. involvement and taxing the rich! LOL! Innapropriate govt. involvement would be' New York's ban on Big Gulps and the First Lady's public support. What I believe would be appropriate, is required nutrition classes in elementary and high schools. And while we're at it, how about a basic personal finance class!
Anna Moscarelli June 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Garry.... Yes! Totally agree with the' required nutrition classes in schools And basic personal finance!!!!!' Awesome! Don't understand why this can not be done. We wouldn't even have to pay the teacher doing this as we can get volunteers, i.e retired teachers or someone who's a retiree in those fields to teach. It Can be done. One doesn't have to have a degree...only the knowledge Or experience for this. Regarding the ban on Big Gulps and First Lady's kids obesity agenda...it's got to stop. Look, I'm not into Big Gulps and totally against obesity but! but! but! this is still the land of the free (for now at least) and we should be not dictated on what we can drink or eat. I'm glad McDonalds isn't backing down and good for them for adding salads and healthy items to the menu and. Not take away the fries/burgers....ridiculous. Also so hypercritical! While Lady Michelle says one thing, Barry O publicly eats 'junk foods' and smokes his cigs? (Do what I say not as I do) Sick of it! Back to my unhealthy coffee....Happy Father's Day to you and all Dads today! :)
Garry Rowe June 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Exactly! It's supply & demand. If we can educate kids properly on nutrition, over time, Big Gulps disappear, fast food menus change and grocery store shelves will have more healthy choices. That would create real health care reform, since Obama's legislation does little to address the high cost of healthcare. It's mostly onerous health insurance regulation.

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