More than a quarter of Alameda's children are overweight or obese, according to a study by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Researchers found that 28.7 percent of 5th, 7th and 9th graders in Alameda exceeded the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range in the 2010 Physical Fitness Test administered by the California Department of Education.
The lowest obesity rate in Alameda County was found in Pleasanton at 22.8 percent. The countywide average was 34.5 percent.
The statewide average obesity rate of the more than 250 cities studied was 38 percent.
Study calls for government action
The study's authors detailed their methods and the ramifications of their findings, emphasizing that overweight kids tend to grow into overweight adults with all the health problems associated therewith.
The findings are accompanied by nine policy recommendations, including:
- eliminating the sale of fatty foods and high-calorie drinks in all schools and after-school programs, as well as on any public facility;
- establishing taxes on sugary drinks at state and local levels to pay for the remediation of their harmful effects;
- eliminating advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth.
Where do you stand?
Do you consider youth obesity a family problem or a community problem?
Would you put the primary responsibility on parents to cut back on junk foods and promote healthier foods and exercise?
Or should the community play the leading role, all the way from promoting good food and exercise to imposing taxes and advertising restrictions?
Or do you favor a mixture of the above?
Vote in the poll and share your thoughts in the comments below.