Southern California Sees Decline in Obese, Overweight Children
For the study, Kaiser Permanente researchers used electronic health records to track the body mass index of 1.3 million HMO members between ages two and 19 from 2008 to 2013.
Of the children included in the study, 23% were from low-income families.
According to the study, the obesity rate among Southern California children dropped by 1.6 percentage points, from 19.1% in 2008 to 17.5% in 2013. Meanwhile, the rate of overweight children in the area fell by 2.2 percentage points.
The declines occurred among all:
- Ethnicities; and
- Socioeconomic categories (Perkes, Orange County Register, 9/25).
However, the "magnitude" of the declines varied by group (Koebnick et al., Journal of Pediatrics, 9/25). For example, the declines were higher among:
- Asians and whites, compared with blacks and Latinos;
- Boys, compared with girls;
- Children from higher-income families, compared with those from lower-income families; and
- Younger children, compared with teenagers.
Lead researcher Corinna Koebnick said that while the decrease in obese and overweight children was small, it was statistically significant.
Koebnick said, "It's definitely going in the right direction," adding that is "important to see" that the rate is "going down in all groups" (Orange County Register, 9/25).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.