Nanny Bloomberg had some relatively good news to brag about today. Bucking national trends, the overall obesity rate among NYC kindergartners through eighth graders has dropped 5.5 percent in the last five years. Of course it has gone from 21.9 percent obese in 2006-07 to 20.7 percent in 2010-11, but still! Notably, the sharpest decline has been seen in kids aged 5-6, which has good implications for the long term. So naturally hizzoner took the news as proof that "years of pioneering policies to improve child nutrition and encourage exercise" (and maybe scary ads!) were behind the drop.
"This year our city saw a record decrease in the number of New Yorkers who smoke, and now we have even more good news about New Yorkers’ health," Bloomberg crowed in a statement today. "Even as childhood obesity in the rest of the nation has remained flat or gotten worse, in New York City, it is declining."
The city's latest obese statistics come from the CDC and are based on BMI data for public school children from the New York City Department of Health. And while the CDC agrees the city is doing something good—"Obesity decreased significantly among children in all age groups and in all socioeconomic and racial/ethnic populations; however, the decrease was smaller among black (1.9%) and Hispanic (3.4%) children than among Asian/Pacific Islander (7.6%) and white (12.5%) children"—it also points out that there is still lots of room for improvement.
"Despite the decreases in obesity," the report says, "continued public health interventions are needed to further reduce the prevalence of obesity and to eliminate disparities among schoolchildren in New York City." Yes, MORE public health interventions are on the way, people. Sounds ominous. Better stock up on pot lollipops while you can! First they came for the fat kids...