Almost four out of 10 kids in Union City are overweight or obese, according to a recent study that ranks our city as having the fifth chubbiest teen and tween population in Alameda County.
The study was done by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Researchers found that 38.4 percent of 5th, 7th and 9th graders in Union City are overwight or obese. Hayward and San Leandro were tied for the childhood obesity rates at 42.7 percent. They were followed by Oakland (42.3 percent) and Newark (39.2 percent).
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, principally 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 on public facilties;
- establishing taxes on sugary drinks at the state and local levels to pay for the harmful effects of those products and remediate their effects;
- eliminating advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth.
Where do you stand?
Do you consider youth obesity primarily a family problem or a community problem?
Would you put the primary responsibility on parents to cut back on junk foods and video games 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?
Leave a comment below and vote in our Poll.