Report: Obesity on decline in Philly schools

Posted: September 07, 2012

MORE GOOD NEWS for Philadelphia's youth: Obesity rates among schoolchildren "decreased significantly" from 2006 to 2010, according to a study by the city's Department of Public Health.

Height-and-weight data collected from about 120,000 Philadelphia School District kids revealed a 5 percent decline in obesity among youths ages 5 to 18.

The news came one day after the state Department of Education announced that the number of district schools on the 2012-13 "persistently dangerous" list has dwindled to six from 10 last year.

The city's study found an 8 percent drop in obesity rates among African-American boys and a 7 percent decrease among Hispanic girls. Rates also fell among their gender counterparts, but at lesser rates: black girls at 1 percent and Hispanic males at 3 percent.

Among non-Hispanic whites, the obesity rates fell 1 percent for girls and 7 percent for boys. For Asians, the study found obesity rates fell 5 percent for girls and 9 percent among boys.

City officials cited factors like the start of its nutrition policy in 2004 that included the removal of sugary drinks from vending machines and a 2009 decision to replace 2 percent milk with 1 percent and remove fryers.


Contact Regina Medina at medinar@phillynews.com or 215-854-5985. Follow her on Twitter @ReginaMedina.

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