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Obesity In California

Obesity in California: statistics and programs

In 2011, California was ranked as the 12th least obese state in America (38 states are more obese).

Obesity in California has almost doubled over the last 15 years, and currently is at 24.8% for adults.

  • When you combine the rates for overweight and obese adults, the total becomes 61.4% of their population.

  • During the 2010 Census, the total population of California was counted at 37,253,956 according to the U. S. Census 2010.

  • This means that almost 23 million people are overweight or obese in this state alone, and face substantially increased risks of life-threatening health conditions.

  • In addition, diabetes has also almost doubled to 8.7% and 25.5% of the people are reporting high blood pressure.

  • Statistics for racial or ethnic categories show

      35.8% obese rates among Blacks,

      30.6% among Latinos,

      and 21.8% among Whites.

Childhood obesity in California

  • As of 2007, 15 per cent of children and teens, age 10 to 17, were considered obese.

  • Approximately 25.5% of California’s population is under the age of 18, making up to 1 ½ million young people at risk of developing serious medical conditions.

These California obesity statistics are reported in ”F as in Fat” from the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, using state and national public health statistical data.

County rankings for obesity in California

  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2008, California counties with obese levels over 30% include Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Yuba county.

  • Obesity in California is under 20% in these counties: Alameda, El Dorado, Marin, Orange, Placer, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma County.

  • Diabetes rates are over 8% in Amador, Del Norte, Fresno, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, and Tulare County.

  • Santa Cruz reports the greatest amount of physical activity, with the following counties also reporting high activity levels: Butte, El Dorado, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Mono, Monterey, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama, and Ventura County.

Federal, state, and community help to lose weight and improve general health:

  • California is among 20 states choosing school meal standards that are more strict than federal USDA standards and among 29 other states that restrict the sale of competitive foods more than federal standards.

  • It joins 21 other states to require body mass index (BMI) screening for children and teens.

  • It is among 26 states that have farm-to-school programs

  • It is also among 16 states that have Complete Streets laws that support bicycling and pedestrian safety to encourage exercise.

  • California has one of the best US climates and diversified geographies for outdoor recreation. From the Mojave desert and Death Valley, to the Redwood Sequoia forests in the north, to the second highest peak in the US--Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevadas, Ansel Adams and other wilderness areas, the famous John Muir trail (joining the Pacific Crest Trail) and Mt. Shasta in the north, to Yosemite National Park, old gold mining areas, and the entire western border on the Pacific Coast, as well as state parks and private recreational facilities.

  • California has one of the largest economies in the world, and agriculture is still a strong producer. Most areas offer local fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, milk, and meat for a healthy diet.

  • Other sources of help to reduce California obesity levels include private physicians, hospital educational support, church support groups, non-profit organizations, community initiatives, public health state task force childhood programs, and community grants from the federal government, in addition to self-education.

California uses the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to identify health trends including overweight, physical activity, smoking prevalence, arthritis incidence and quality of life, lead poisoning, alcohol usage, and the health of people without health insurance.

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