Mississippi leads the nation in declining childhood obesity rate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi leads the nation in declining childhood obesity rates

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds Mississippi and California paving a frontier to lower childhood obesity rates.

Data collected between 2005 and 2011 shows a 13.3% overall decline in childhood obesity in Mississippi. In California, the decline is 1.1%.

A focus on higher nutritional standards in schools is being cited as contributors to the declines in both states.

Another initiative cited in Mississippi as beneficial is "Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters" program, which is presented to a variety of establishments, including offices and schools.

"We are very encouraged to see this decline in obesity rates among our high school students. Although the change from two years ago is not statistically significant, it's the first time in ten years we have seen any decline at all in Mississippi's adolescent obesity rate," said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier, in a statement released by her office. "Mississippi's obesity issue continues to be a huge public health concern but my hope is that we continue to see a decline in years to come."

In California, an obesity prevention plan has been enacted, encouraging people to meet their transportation needs through walking and cycling. The state also advocates giving restaurant diners access to all nutritional information.

This report is published in the RWJF Health Policy Snapshot

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