April 30, 2013
When the Chula Vista Elementary School District south of San Diego surveyed the physical condition of the 25,000 students enrolled in 2010, the results were worrisome. About 40 percent of the kids were at an unhealthy weight – with the highest rates among fifth and sixth graders. The survey prompted the district to act. The schools overhauled their menus, banned birthday cupcakes, integrated movement into recess and the classroom, and focused on educating students about better nutrition in the neighborhoods where obesity rates were highest. By the time the survey was repeated this year, the programs put in place had had an impact, according to Sharon Hillidge, resource teacher for wellness. Body mass indexes were down 3 percent and fitness levels had improved.
March 22, 2011
Leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, beets and leeks aren’t typically the kinds of foods available at food banks. Fresh foods are hard to salvage for people in need, even though perfectly edible produce that doesn’t meet grocery store standards is often left to rot in the fields. But a Salinas organization, Ag Against Hunger, has developed some innovative methods for distributing fresh produce to food banks.
March 10, 2011
At Fresno’s Susan B. Anthony grade school, located in one of the most impoverished area of Fresno, 78 percent of fifth graders don’t meet the state’s requirements for healthy fitness. Fresno pastor Mike Slayden decided to tackle the problem by encouraging students to walk or bike to school. Through his not-for-profit, he offers them a shiny prize for their work: a brand new bike.
September 1, 2010
The latest look at obesity and diabetes trends in California from the UCLA Center on Health Policy Research shows how closely the twin maladies are tied to income and education levels. The poor are more likely to be obese and have diabetes than more affluent Californians, and people without a high school education are two times as likely to be obese and three times more likely to have diabetes than college graduates. The report suggests that environmental factors play a big role in driving these numbers.
August 17, 2010
Childhood obesity rates in California are showing signs of leveling off or even declining among some adolescents, a new study led by UC San Francisco researchers has found. But the rates continue to climb for some ethnic and racial groups, and the worst cases are as numerous, and as serious, as ever.
August 3, 2010
A record number of US adults are now obese, with 2 million more people crossing that unhealthy weight threshold between 2007 and 2009, according to new numbers released by the US Centers for Disease Control. California's obesity rate is 24.8 percent, which is below the US average but higher than 16 other states.
June 2, 2010
On a recent trip to Washington, DC, I decided to test my belief that walking is an important way to promote weight loss and healthy lifestyles by doing as much walking as possible in our nation's capital. I decided to keep track of my efforts and see just how easy it was to stay physically active while on a highly scheduled two-day business trip.
May 27, 2010
The state Senate has approved a bill to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened sport drinks in the public schools during school hours. The bill would tighten a restriction that already forbids the sale of soft drinks but did not include electrolyte replacement beverages in the ban.
May 5, 2010
California advocates for women and children are making a major push for breastfeeding and laying the groundwork for proposals in the Legislature that could require hospitals that deliver babies to reduce the number of newborns fed with bottled formula.
April 27, 2010
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has given tentative approval to an ordinance that would restrict the ability of restaurants to use toys or other incentives to entice children into eating meals that are high in fat, sugar, and calories. The ordinance is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.