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L.A.'s Childhood Obesity Rates Rose, While New York's Declined

Illustration via the Joe_13 on Flickr
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Michelle Obama must be wagging her finger at L.A. A new CDC study shows that the obesity rates for our city's preschool aged children rose over the past nine years, unlike our bicoastal counterparts in New York, who saw a decrease.

New York City's low-income toddlers saw a 3 percent dip in obesity rates, a decline that's consistent with many other big U.S. cities. The study reports that obesity rates for L.A.'s low-income 3- and 4-year-olds rose 4 percent over the span of the research, reflecting rates much higher than normal in the U.S. Thankfully, the rate peaked in 2009, and has seen a decline in L.A. since then.

The study looked at children whose families are part of the WIC program, which provides assistance to mothers for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education.

The Huffington Post points out that Los Angeles kids included many more Mexican-Americans, and obesity is more common in Mexican-American boys. It also points out that WIC training and programs started in New York earlier, which could account for their taking the lead.

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So while things are getting better, the issue is far from resolved. Guess that nationwide school lunch alliance really does have their hands full when those kids finally reach elementary school age.