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Poll: Nearly Four In Ten Union City Kids Are Fat. What Should We Do?

According to a recent study, 38.4 percent of our 5th, 7th and 9th graders are overweight or obese. What should families do? What should government do?

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.

Rates ranged from as low as 11 percent in affluent Manhattan Beach to 53 percent for Huntington Park, a factory town. Both are in Los Angeles County. 

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.

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Green Is Better June 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Hate to say it, but perhaps the only way to get people to slim down is to attach a "tax" to being fat. When a person needs two airline seats for him/herself, they have to buy two tickets. Fat people have more health problems: if health care costs are pooled among us all, the over-weight folks should pay a higher premium and co-pay. Furniture at school or in public parks needs to be designed to withstand higher weights - add a tax for that too. People who take care of themselves, drive safely, etc... shouldn't have to shoulder the cost for those who don't.
Skinny June 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Why do you call these kids fat? You call them fat and then their friends call them fat and they get bullied in school. The reality is that both parents have to work and it's easier to pick up food to go. Also, people don't realize how much the working poor struggle to put food on the table. Fresh veggies are not cheap and are out of reach for many people. Processed foods that will feed the whole family are a lot less expensive. No doubt that it isn't good for you but you feed the family any way you can.
Don June 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM
ordinary joe, I trust you mean parents should "ban the food truck mafia", not any government. The role of government, and school districts, should be no more than education about the matter. That done properly, there would be no need for draconian un-American solutions. Re-instituting P.E. would help though. Green Is Better, tax the large? Really?? Because some are bigoted against the large? Why not also say "short people have no reason to live" while you are at it. At least "we" should tax them. Where would it stop? Tax people that own imported cars? How about imported TVs? Let's tax people that drive too far. Should we tax people who worship? Should we tax people that don't worship? Let's tax high school drop outs since they tipicaly are a burden on society. I just hope "we" don't tax people that can't spel. ;>
Tamerlane June 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM
In my day, there was usually only one fat kid in the class. That kid took a lot of heat. Nowadays, half the kids are little chunks. There is no need for them to feel ostracized when they've got the numbers.
Skinny June 12, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Tax them? What about the people that gain weight from medication? Tax them too? It's not safe for kids to play outside anymore. There is not a lot of physical activity when you have to keep them home to keep them safe.
Tamerlane June 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Since you can't "spel", we won't tax you, we will just poke you with tacks.
Tamerlane June 12, 2012 at 11:09 PM
I have a novel idea! Why not just leave everybody the heck alone????? If people want to be fat, so what????? Let's stop being busybodies! Please!
(UCYSL) Union City Youth Soccer League June 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Excercise, Excercise, Excercise. Children ages 4-16 can join the Union City Youth Soccer League (UCYSL) receive two days of soccer instruction a week and play matches on Saturdays. Experienced and first time soccer players are welcomed. For more information or to register your child please go to www.ucysl.org. UCYSL is a 501c non-profit charitable organization.
Skinny June 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM
The Soccer cost $100 per player. That is not really affordable for most families.
(UCYSL) Union City Youth Soccer League June 12, 2012 at 11:35 PM
UCYSL offers scholarships and finacial aid for finacially challenged families. No player is denied the opportunity to play because of finaces.
Tim June 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM
How about we take a page from NYC Mayor Bloomturd's book. Yes, we can ban trans-fat, salt, and all sodas over 16 ounces. And while we're at it, someone get Moochelle Obama on the horn and see if she can send over some of those fresh vegetables from the White House garden. We all know her husband isn't eating them.
Tamerlane June 13, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Hey Tim, better watch it. Jack is going to be upset with you for the way you are playing with people's names. But I simply cannot believe that Barack Obey-me doesn't eat his veggies....
Tim June 13, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Well, he'll have to grow up and find a sense of humor. Bloomburg has been a disaster for NYC after Guiliani spent his two terms cleaning up the mess he inherited from Dinkins. Now Bloomturd is telling people how big of a soda they can have (nothing over 16 ounces)... how long will it take some "entrepreneur" to figure out a 2-cup system? And Mrs. Obama is a mooch because she couldn't wait four hours for her husband to fly out on vacation so the taxpayers had to shell out thousands for her separate jet, security, etc. etc. And, I always see Barack on the news at a lunch stop during his busy days of campaigning stuffing his face with burgers and fries while his wife tells us what we can and cannot eat. Typical statists.
Tamerlane June 13, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Well as long as Barack covers up his cheeseburger breath with a smoke, I don't think his wife will know....
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Look at the label and if contains aspartame or High frucose corn syrup, don't give it to your kids or drink it yourself. Drink Free fresh water instead of purchasing soft drinks. Replace the beverages you drink with plain old water and eat whatever you want of "REAL FOOD" not prossessed foods. When they add sugar or corn syrup it is to get kids to eat their " brand ". Many products are made for Adult Tastes and have less surgar or corn syrup. Shop the Label, live healthy excersise and thrive. My dad is 97 years old, still drives a car and flys private aircraft. He eats Meat and Potatoes and drinks water and his coffee black. No soft drinks only water and 2 glsses of white wine with his evening meal each day. He does not eat salads because most salad dressings are full of sugar or corn syrup. If he does order a salad becaue it "comes free with the meal,, he gets the Blue Cheese dressing for the flavor and calcium in the cheese but has only one salad a week. He munches on nuts for snacks or has Salami and crackers. His doctor has recomended he eat mor mashed potatoes to maintain his weight. Ribeye stear, mashed potatoes and home made gravey diet...mmmmmm NO SODA POP.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Somke food trucks have good "made from scratch" foods with no MSG and tyhen eat your food with Unsweateded Coffee, Tea or Water.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:06 AM
The whole family eats from the same Kitchen. Reduce the prtions to 60% and add Rice or Potatoes for starch and to feel full.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Socker (football in the rest of the world) is fun, non-contacts and you run 3 miles in One hour of play. Union City has leagues for all ages eventhe "big Fat Boys"
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Cute...but not true. 60% of the children stay fit and trim and they can help their friends with encouragement.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Right ON !
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:15 AM
The cost of 66 Sodas at Burger King. Swich to free water and play.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Lets Play !
Gary M. Louie June 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Interesting that the two ads below this new piece were from Burger King and Dominos Pizza! Coincidence or correlation?
Mike Hunt June 13, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Look at what's going on in New York, the mayor is trying to outlaw soda (large containers) because of child obesity and obesity in general. I think it's a great idea. As one person already stated, we are all paying high insurance rates, pharmacy fees have gone up etc. Obesity is not a individual or family thing it's societal and national problem that is destroying us more than any illegal drug. There is no doubt that you can't leave these things under control of the general public (ie soda, what food they eat etc) because the large majority of Americans are weak minded and weak willed and they need to these things controlled for them because they can't do it themselves.
Frank Mockery June 13, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Since a study released this week shows more teenagers now smoke marijuana than tobacco their obesity may be due to the munchies. Tobacco (which kills tens of thousands yearly) is far more dangerous than marijuana (never a documented death attributed to it's use) so this is good news for those concerned about the health of their children. Let's be clear,I don't advocate the use of marijuana by teenagers. I'm not opposed to it,I just don't advocate it as that would be wrong !
Tamerlane June 13, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I think that I should decide what and how much you all should eat. And I am going to mandate that you all get up with me at oh-six-hundred for community calisthenics. You need to conform to MY idea of what is healthy and attractive. Are we all clear on this? See you at oh-six-hundred.
Edward June 13, 2012 at 05:02 PM
US Army Basic Training...The ARMY Daily Dozen. Right Sarge?
Edward June 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Bake into Brownies made with whole Wheat Flour, topped with REAL Opium Poppy Seeds...Frank Mockery, your funny.
Frank Mockery June 13, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Calisthenics ? How about you drop & I give you ten instead (if you conform to MY idea of healthy & attractive) ?
Edward June 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
That was first week...How about 50 "Drill Sargent". Chalenge the Students with "being the Best" in academics and athletisism was always the best way in the past but it seems all schools want is super brains on little fat bodies. You do not need to be a "lean ,mean fighting Machine" to stay fit but it does take "Will Power" to make fitness happen. In" Basic trainiing" it's the Authority "drill Sargent" that provides the drive untill the trainees learn to have their own "Will Power" to stay fit. The diet comes from the Kitchen and propper planning, and, like for our sevice men and women, that is provided by the "Family"

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