Good news, finally, for obese New York City schoolchildren. A new report released yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of obese New York City schoolchildren fell by 5.5 percent over five years. This decline was documented by annual fitness exams given to students from kindergarten through eighth-grade. It is the largest decline reported by a large city.
As written in the New York Times, overall, the rate of obesity dropped in New York City to 207 children per 1,000 in the 2010-11 school year, down from 219 five years earlier, meaning that 20.7 percent were still considered obese.
The results found that the declines in obesity were considerably higher among middle-class children than among poor children. They were also higher among white and Asian children compared with black and Hispanic children. Nonetheless, overall the drops held up to some extent across all races and economic levels.
“This comes after decades of relentless increases,” Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said. While the 5.5 percent drop may seem slight, he said, “What’s impressive is the fact that it’s falling at all.” And, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the 5.5 percent drop translated into roughly 6,500 fewer obese children in the public schools
Dr. Farley attributed the progress, in part, to NYC’s aggressive advertising campaign against sugary sodas, which he said may have altered what parents were serving their children. The city has also tried adding healthier options to school lunch menus and added strict rules on the calorie and sugar content of drinks and snacks in vending machines in schools.
Good news New Yorkers!! Let’s keep it up!