Forgive the pun, but that's huge news.
It's going to take a holistic approach to quell the city's obesity rate - 40 percent overall. But for poor kids alone, it's even worse, at almost 52 percent.
And, as in most big cities, obesity dovetails with poverty - Philadelphia boasts the second-hungriest congressional district in the country.
Sadly, many parents just don't have access to healthy options - yes, like something as basic as a grocery store - or the information to make the right food choices.
That's what Maleata Ragin discovered when she and her 6-year-old son, Ta'lis, participated in a five-week CORE observational study recently.
The study looked at about 100 kids - some obese, some not - and their weight in relation to their appetite and eating habits.
Mind you, Ta'lis isn't obese. Far from it. At 46 inches tall and 42 pounds, the gangly kindergartner bounds all over the room in the Lansdowne home he shares with Ragin; his little brother, Joshua, 4; and his maternal grandmother.
Ending bad habits
But Ragin signed up for the study because she noticed she always served Ta'lis seconds. She wanted to learn how to preempt his portion sizes so he wouldn't eat too much.
And, truth be told, she didn't want her own bad eating habits to rub off on her kids.
"If I wanted another cheeseburger, my dad would get it for me. When I was about 10 or 11, I started gaining weight and started getting teased," recalls Ragin, 24, who has already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
"Kids are mean. I don't want them teased like I was because I was chubby."
A single mom who works and goes to school, Ragin admits "cooking dinner would be so much easier if I could go through McDonald's or Pizza Hut. But that stuff is not healthy. So if I want a snack, instead of hitting the corner store for chips, I'll get some dried fruit at the market."
Ragin is grateful that both Ta'lis' and Joshua's tastes run toward healthy foods. She encourages the behavior by budgeting more for food, so she can buy healthy options like chicken breasts to go with the broccoli, corn, and salad her sons like to eat.
"Have you ever seen those Maury shows with the babies who are 2 years old and weigh 90 pounds?" she asks. "Do you really think that's OK? Parents don't take time to learn."
Participating in the study taught Ragin some feeding strategies, too. She learned rather than passing her bad childhood habits on to Ta'lis by asking if he wanted seconds, to "just wait and see if he asks for it. Since I started doing that, he doesn't ask unless he really, really wants it.
"And I'm getting a lot better at saying no," she says - for herself and her sons.
It's a parent's responsibility, after all. First lady Michelle Obama, who has visited Philadelphia twice over the last year to raise awareness about her "Let's Move" healthy lifestyle initiative, has said as much.
"No matter how much [our kids] beg for pizza, fries, and candy, ultimately, they are not, and should not, be the ones calling the shots at dinner time," Obama declared during her program's launch last year. "We're in charge. We make these decisions."
Mothers like Ragin have figured that out, and the whole family is healthier for it.
Contact me at 215-854-4986 or Ajohnhall@phillynews.com. Read my work: http://go.philly.com/annette. Follow me on Twitter @Annettjh and check out the Blinq blog at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-blinq/