Health advocates heaved a sign of relief this month over a new report showing that the obesity epidemic may be leveling off. In the past five years, the percentage of overweight and obese kids in California dropped by one percent. Not a screaming success, but a lot better than the gains seen since the 80s … or even in the past decade. The rate of overweight kids in California increased by six percent between 2001 to 2004 alone.
Some individual counties saw drops in obesity levels while others, like Del Norte County, saw massive increases. The report, aptly named “A Patchwork of Progress,” reflects on these discrepancies. The Bay Area itself is somewhat of a patchwork, too. In nearly all Bay counties, childhood obesity rates are on the rise. The single exception was San Mateo county, which saw 5.6 percent decrease.
So why are San Mateo County kids getting thinner while the rest of the Bay is getting fatter?