Obesity rates for Philadelphia schoolchildren fell significantly over four years, researchers reported Thursday, suggesting that the sort of steps taken here in one of the hardest-hit cities might help reverse a national epidemic.
The rate of obese local public-school students dropped nearly 5 percent between 2006 and 2010, when national obesity rates remained unchanged after tripling since the mid-1970s.
Declines were greater among African American boys and Hispanic girls in Philadelphia, two groups at high risk of obesity-related conditions such as heart disease. Donald F. Schwarz, the city health commissioner and a coauthor of the study, highlighted the minority-group findings, which have not been seen elsewhere.
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