Experts release report on childhood obesity in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Experts release report on childhood obesity in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Experts are shining a spotlight on childhood obesity in San Diego County. 

A first-ever report on the issue was released Tuesday. 

Local leaders, medical professionals and even a student spoke at a conference about the high incidence rate of childhood obesity in San Diego County.  

The research also went on to show some viable solutions to tackle the issue. 

"Working together we put plans for healthy eating and active living for San Diego children, as well for families, in place," said San Diego County Supervisor. 

Roberts joined with doctors and educators to discuss this first-ever report on child obesity in the county. 

Data from the California Department of Education's physical fitness test shows 34 percent of San Diego County 5th, 7th and 9th grade children in public school for the 2014-15 school year were overweight or obese.  

The study showed wide disparities based on race and ethnicity and economic background; showing the obesity rate for Hispanic students was twice as high as the rate for non-Hispanic students.  

So do obese children need to attend treatment to lose weight? 

Research shows family-based treatment has been considered the best model for the treatment of obese children. Family-based treatment provides both parents and children with education and behavior therapy techniques. However, it is provided mainly in hospital settings and can be challenging to attend for busy families.  

Parents play a critical role in the process of helping their child lose weight by modeling healthy behaviors and reinforcing a balanced diet and exercise. 

This approach emphasizes the role of parents as the primary agents of change.  

"No matter how often we tell parents to help their kids choose better options for their kids if they don't have the support of community, schools, churches, then we will not have success," said pediatrician Dr. Natalie Muth.  

"I'm not a number, I'm Miguel and these are issues affecting my community my life and what I live through on daily basis," said Miguel Molina a junior at Kearny High School. "I request safe, recreational spaces for communities and communities just like mine." 

The study involved 150 children, ages 8 to 12, who were overweight or obese, defined as a body mass index greater than 85 percent of similarly aged children. The program curriculum was the same for both treatment groups with the only difference being attendance of the child. 

Funding for this research came from the National Institutes of Health. 

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