The prevalence of childhood obesity among all Philadelphia students dropped more than 4.5 percent between the 2006-07 and 2009-10 school years, according to a study published online last week in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
An analysis published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that while the overall rate of childhood obesity in the United States remained relatively steady over the past decade, more young males are considered obese now than in 2000.
In Philadelphia, childhood obesity appears to be on the decline across age, gender, and racial lines. The study authors analyzed height and weight data for more than 100,000 students, ages 5 to 18, in the city’s school district. They calculated the prevalence of obesity overall and among student subgroups based on body mass index, or BMI.
The authors don’t draw conclusions on causes of the drop, but point out that sugar-sweetened beverages have been removed from school vending machines and that fryers in school cafeterias have been eliminated.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as Child-Obesity Rate Drops in Philadelphia