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Jun 25, 2010 2:44 PM by Carina Corral

Childhood obesity program yields promising results at local school

Results are in for a childhood obesity pilot program implemented last year at an elementary school in Santa Barbara.

The Diabetes Resource Center developed the Eastside Childhood Obesity Prevention and Wellness Program to address the problem of childhood obesity in the primarily Latino Franklin Elementary School.

All of the approximately 500 children had their Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated.

The more than 400 students whose BMI identified them as overweight or obese took part in the program.

Throughout the year, they were provided with physical fitness, nutrition and gardening activities.

At the end of the year, their BMI was measured again and showed positive results:

- The prevalence of obesity decreased from 30 percent to 25 percent in one year.

- The prevalence of overweight and obesity combined decreased from 55 percent to 42 percent.

- The results for girls were even more impressive in the area of declining obesity, with a decrease in the prevalence of obesity from 26 percent to 19 percent, and a decrease in the prevalence of obesity and overweight combined from 48 percent to 38 percent.

- 90 percent of children targeted in this pilot program improved their conditioning

- and 75 percent made at least one positive change in their lives.

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