Childhood Obesity

According to The State of Obesity, "the national childhood obesity rate is 18.5%. The rate varies among different age groups and rises as children get older: 13.9% of 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% of 6- to 11-year-olds and 20.6% of 12- to 19-year-olds have obesity. There also are striking racial and ethnic disparities, 25.8% of Latino children and 22% of Black children have obesity" (stateofobesity. org). When looking at the data below, we see a general upward trend for childhood obesity. From 1999 to 2016, childhood obesity increased by 33 percent. In other words, about 14 million kids in the United States, are obese.

When looking at the graph below, most states are between the 10 to 14.9 percent range (20 states) and 15 to 19.9 percent range (24). This means that childhood obesity rates has remained relatively unchanged in recent years.

To start out, our team will be focusing on California first. In California, the childhood obesity rate is 15.6 percent, which is ranked 20 out of the 50 states. When looking at factors that contribute to this percentage, we see that on the state level, California has not "set a definition for physical activity," allowing licensing of laws that are linked to CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) - A federal nutrition program that provides nutritious foods and meals to child care and adult care centers. In addition, California did not set up nutrition standards and screen time limits, both of which could help lower obesity rates in children. Besides these policies, California is doing a good job implementing ECE programs for healthy eating, drinking water, breastfeeding, and time allotted for exercise.

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Next, on a school level, California has implemented many policies for physical education programs and also a nutrition standard for healthy eating. Thus, California has been doing good in addressing obesity in schools. However, California can further address childhood obesity if they allow more recess time in elementary school, which can be beneficial because kids can get more exercise in during that time.

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