It's heartening to hear of so many good strategies for reducing obesity. What we also need is evidence. Today I received a communication circulated on the SNEEZE network which cites evidence of falling child obesity rates in some parts of the US. I am copying the communication below.
The question is then - how did this occur? Does it depend more on public debate, well-developed institutions and community nutrition education (very strongly established in the US) or on industry regulation? Does it require the resources of a wealthy country? Jane Sherman
E-mail on SNEEZE network:
This morning RWJF released new stories and data from a growing number of states, cities, and counties that have measured declines in their childhood obesity rates. Many of these places have made broad, far-reaching changes to help support healthy eating and regular physical activity. For example:
· Kaiser Permanente, the Safe Routes to School Partnership and the National PTA are running a “Fire Up Your Feet” campaign in Southern California to encourage kids to walk or bike to school.
· All YMCA’s in South Carolina have adopted Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in their afterschool programs to help kids have healthy snacks and drinks and at least 30 minutes of physical activity.
· CentraCare Health, a nonprofit healthcare system in St. Cloud, Minn., is working with the local government and community organizations to help school districts update their wellness policies and implement nutrition labeling in grocery stores and schools.......
List of new or updated locations and their stories:
Just added to the RWJF Signs of Progress collection!
· Cherokee County, South Carolina: The obesity and overweight rate fell from 43 percent in 2012 to 34.3 percent in 2015 among first grade students, a 20.2 percent relative decline. Among third graders, the obesity and overweight rate fell from 51.5 percent in 2012 to 40.7 percent in 2015, a 21 percent relative decline.
· Colorado: The obesity and overweight rate fell from 22.9 percent in 2012 to 21.2 percent in 2015 among 2- to 4-year olds enrolled in the state’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a 7.4 percent relative decline.
· Southern California: The obesity rate fell from 19.1 percent in 2008 to 17.5 percent in 2013 among Kaiser Permanente members ages 2 to 19, an 8.4 percent relative decline.
· St. Cloud, Minnesota: The obesity and overweight rate fell from 17 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2015 among 12-year-olds, a 24 percent relative decline.
Updated with an additional year of data!
· New Mexico: The obesity and overweight rate fell from 30.3 percent in 2010 to 25.6 percent in 2015 among Kindergarten students in public schools, a 15.5 percent relative decline. Among the public school students in third grade, the obesity and overweight rate fell from 38.7 percent in 2010 to 34.4 percent in 2015, an 11.1 percent relative decline.
· Philadelphia: The obesity rate fell from 21.7 percent in 2006-07 to 20.3 percent in 2012-13 among Philadelphia public school students in grades K-12, a 6.5 percent relative decline.
· Seminole County, Florida: The obesity and overweight rate fell from 34.3 percent in 2006-07 to 29.6 percent in 2013-14 among students in grades 1, 3, and 6, a 13.7 percent relative decline.