Obesity high among New York children: study

08:33, September 07, 2010      

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A new report found that two in every five children in New York City from kindergarten through eighth grade are either overweight or obese, according to The New York Times on Monday.

A whopping 22 percent have body mass indexes (BMI) high enough to be declared clinically obese, and another 18 percent are considered overweight. The study was based on the 2008-2009 data of 254,076 children gathered and analyzed by the City's Departments of Education and Health.

Evidence shows less-affluent neighborhoods tended to have heavier children. The highest rate this year was in Corona, Queens, where 51 percent of schoolchildren were overweight or obese. Comparatively, just 12 percent of students were overweight or obese on the Upper West Side.

Cathy Nonas, who is responsible for NYC's physical activity and nutrition programs, told the press she was "sorry to say the figure is in line with the nation." Across America, roughly 35 percent of six to 11 year olds are overweight or obese. "We're certainly working hard to get obesity down from here," she said.

Overcoming obesity among NYC's children will be tough. The city has already taken some useful measures, including replacing full fat milk with 1 percent fat milk, and banning sugar-sweetened beverages from vending machines on school premises. Officials say they will try to prioritize and target physical exercise and nutrition programs for schoolchildren better.

Source: Xinhua


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