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Obesity Is California Parents’ Top Concern

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Sonora, CA — A new poll shows parents’ top fear is obesity even over illegal drugs when it comes to their children. The Field Poll found unhealthy eating or a lack of physical activity and diabetes among kids’ two top health risks and they far outrank illegal drug use. Over the past ten years, obesity ranks have jumped from 53% to 59% and illegal drug use has dropped from 49% to 43%.

A recent Tuolumne County Health Assessment Report shows the county’s child obesity rate is lower than the states. In 2010, 29.5% of students in the county were considered overweight or obese. For the state that figure was 38%. The county also bucks the state trend when it comes to higher obesity rate in children from lower income families.

Tuolumne County Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp explains, “In Tuolumne County, there are lower obesity rates in the lowest social economic strata. That can also be of concern because one possibility is that there is actually so little access to food that there’s actually a lower opportunity for obesity.”

Stolp says another reason for the lower obesity rate could be the fitness push in county schools like the “Fit for the Future” program.

Other poll findings showed overwhelming public support for making fresh drinking water freely available in schools, parks and public buildings. Voters also think it’s important for food and beverage companies to change their marketing to help reduce obesity and diabetes. In addition, six in ten think it is highly important for Medi-Cal to cover exercise and other organized physical activity programs.

The third most feared health risk for California parents is the threat of violence to children with a ranking of 31%.