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Teen Obesity

January 8, 2009

Teens from low-income backgrounds face several heightened obesity risks.


An income gap in teen obesity. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Low-income teens face big obstacles to maintaining a healthy weight. This according to a new policy brief from the University of California at Los Angeles. Noting that California teens from low-income households have nearly triple the obesity risk of more affluent peers, health policy researcher Susan Babey and her colleagues offer several remedies. Among them: zoning laws that limit the number of fast-food restaurants in poorer neighborhoods.

SUSAN BABEY (University of California, Los Angeles):
… But also incentives to encourage healthier food options — grocery stores, smaller produce vendors – to come into areas where those types of stores are not as prevalent.

Other recommendations include investing in phys-ed and after-school sports programs, and encouraging families to eat dinner together, which has been shown to promote healthy eating. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.