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L.A. County Discovers Kids Who AreObese Live in Poor Neighborhoods

Posted Aug 26 2008 5:02pm

Los_angeles_obesity_heat_map_071107 Although I’ve wanted to report on recent health and obesity stories, I’ve been buried by the avalanche of recalls. I generally do not like to report on studies unless I have time to read the actual data, something that is quite time consuming.

News accounts of research reports tend to be poorly constructed or researched. That said, I still write about studies that are not obviously flawed or distorted before reporting on them.

Take a recent study on childhood obesity rates in Los Angeles, which reveals a huge disparity between low- and high-income communities.

Children who live in less affluent areas have obesity rates nine times higher than those in wealthier ones, reports the Los Angeles Times . The obesity rate for children in Manhattan Beach, a coastal town that has easy access to walking, surfing, swimming, biking and volleyball, is only 4 percent.

But in Maywood, which has virtually no green areas, 37 percent of children are deemed obese. Median incomes between the two communities are wildly different:

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