High obesity rates among California 5th graders in 2018
The latest data from 2018 show that 41% of 5th graders in California were overweight or obese, reports Kidsdata.com. Particularly troubling are the large race/ethnicity disparities, including 54% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 49% of Hispanic/Latino 5th graders that were overweight or obese, as compared with fewer than 30% of their Asian American and white peers.
Consistent with these findings, the percentage of children who met the California Department of Education fitness standards also showed disparity by race/ethnicity. Fewer than 20% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino 5th graders met all fitness standards compared with 35% of Asian American and White students.
Reducing childhood obesity rates requires more than personal effort. Public policies are necessary to ensure equitable access to opportunities for physical activity in and out of school, and affordable healthful foods, among other factors.
As the state continues to advance anti-obesity policies, these efforts must effectively address racial/ethnic and other inequities, engage local communities in solutions, and utilize strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
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