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Obesity, diabetes epidemics continue to grow in California, UCLA study finds
Date:8/31/2010

es set by Healthy People 2010, a national health-promotion and disease-prevention plan. For example, obesity among California adolescents is more than twice as high as the national target of 5.0 percent, while the rate of diabetes among California adults is more than three times the federal goal of 2.5 percent of the population.

"It is a travesty that beer and Flaming Hot Cheetos are more readily available than an apple in low-income communities across the state," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, which supported the study. "Local governments must support community efforts to bring in healthy food to these communities and expand opportunities for children and families to engage in physical activity by cleaning up parks and improving community safety."

In California, the total annual cost of diabetes is estimated to be $24 billion, with $17 billion spent on direct medical care and $7 billion on indirect costs associated with the disease. The cost of obesity to families, employers, the health care industry and the government is equally steep: $21 billion. If obesity and diabetes continue to affect more and more of the population, the associated costs will continue to grow.

Although there are a number of factors associated with diabetes and obesity, ranging from genetics to individual behaviors, the composition and structure of neighborhoods and social environments have been increasingly implicated as impediments to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Both physical activity and healthy eating are important for preventing and reducing obesity and diabetes.

California has enacted reforms to encourage healthy eating, including requiring chain restaurants to display calorie information and prohibiting the sale of soda and other sweetened beverages on K󈝸 school campuses.

However, the study authors conclude that more needs to be done to promote environments that promote regular
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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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