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Childhood Obesity Rate Drops in Certain Cities, States
December 12, 2012

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NYC School Lunch Menu Changes Cut Obesity Rate

Several American cities and states have reported a reversal in what many considered a worrying trend: childhood obesity.

New York noted that from 2007 to 2011, the number of schoolchildren classified as obese dropped 5.5 percent. Philadelphia reported a 5-percent drop, and the decline in Los Angeles was 3 percent. States reported drops as well, with Mississippi showing a 13.3-percent drop and California rates showing as 1.1 percent lower.

Researchers said that they ran the numbers several times in order to make sure, given that the obesity rate had been increasing for decades. The most recent results weren't cause for great celebrations, health experts cautioned, because the childhood obesity rate is still relatively high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the rate at 17 percent nationally, for children under 20, three times the rate measured in 1980.

The report comes in the wake of recent high-profile efforts by cities to combat adult and childhood obesity. New York, especially, has been vocal about targeting vending machines in schools and hospitals and limiting the size of sugary drinks. Such drinks were recently linked to obesity in a major study.

Results were announced in a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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