Grand Jury Report Finds That One-Fifth of Orange County Students Are Obese, Overweight
About 20% of Orange County's nearly 100,000 school-age students are either overweight or obese, according to a report released Tuesday by the Orange County Grand Jury, the Los Angeles Times reports. The jury based its 17-page report on visits to school cafeterias and interviews with school officials from 17 school districts. The report used CDC's definition of obesity as determined by body mass index. According to the report, the percentage of overweight or obese students in the county has doubled over the past 20 years. Although the report noted that the rate of Orange County students passing the California physical fitness test was higher than the state average, the success rates were "barely one-third or lower for the various grades," the Times reports. The jury praised schools for serving nutritional meals but recommended that they hire nutrition and fitness specialists and appoint committees to address obesity further. Other recommendations in the report included posting nutritional information about cafeteria food; keeping playgrounds open during off-hours; and providing students with more information on BMI. The report stated, "More focused educational programs are needed to drive home the idea that proper nutrition and physical activity are necessary to maintain ideal body weight" (Rubin, Los Angeles Times, 6/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.