A majority of adults in California are obese or overweight, and more than 2 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Both conditions which are related to each other as well as to heart disease increased significantly in just six years, with the prevalence of diabetes alone jumping nearly 26 percent between 2001 and 2007.
The "epidemic" of obesity and diabetes leaves no racial, ethnic, economic or geographic segment of the state unscathed, according to the researchers. Although American Indians, African Americans and Latinos are particularly affected by both obesity and diabetes, these conditions increased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2001 and 2007.
Similarly, while both conditions disproportionately affect the poorest Californians, there were upward trends in prevalence among all income groups during the same time period. California's youth are also affected: More than a quarter of California adolescents some 970,000 children are obese or overweight.
"When so many people of different ages, income and educational levels, and cultural backgrounds are struggling with obesity and diabetes, it suggests that 'going on a diet' is not enough," said research co-author Dr. Allison Diamant, a faculty associate with the center and an associate adjunct professor of general internal medicine and health services research. "We need to take a hard look at the environmental and structural factors that contribute to these conditions.
The study specifically recommends that policymakers and others seek ways to increase access to recreational facilities and parks, as well as promote policies that encourage farmers markets and improve access to food outlets that stock fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy fare.
The consequences of failure are severe. California is falling far short of the targets for obesity and diabet
|Contact: Gwen Driscoll|
University of California - Los Angeles