SDSU Gets $6M to Study Childhood Obesity

San Diego State University has received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worth more than $6 million over the next four years to study childhood obesity in Imperial County. SDSU is one of four schools nationwide participating in the program.

According to the CDC, the project will focus on children aged two to twelve who participate in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a provider of low-cost insurance coverage to more than 7 million children.

Researchers from SDSU’s Institute for Behavioral and Community Health will partner with the Imperial County Public Health Department and Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo Inc., interacting with and observing the community at doctor’s offices, in schools, food stores, restaurants, and parks. They hope to identify opportunities at various points in the community to improve the health and health education of children and their parents.

Children of minorities are particularly at risk, the CDC says. According to its website, “Rates of childhood obesity are high overall, but for minority and low-income communities in particular, they are even higher. Using innovative approaches to reach low-income and minority families to tackle childhood obesity prevents the onset of many diseases associated with childhood obesity, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.”

SDSU is noted for its experience in studying Latino health. Imperial County, with its large Hispanic population, has a childhood obesity rate of 39 percent, the state’s highest. Average youth obesity is at about 28 percent statewide.


Hmm. Low income once meant that there was little to spend for good food, thus malnutrition followed. Now low income leads to obesity, meaning there is plenty spent on food--how good it is is the matter at hand--a total reversal.

One of the things done in recent decades was to provide the high-calorie school lunch. In a way that really makes anyone wonder, that was intended to provide more than half of the caloric intake needed by a kid. But what if the kid was inactive and generally well-fed at home? Overeating? And who gets the school lunch? The low income kid gets it at a reduced rate or free.

So, since Imperial County is a poverty-stricken area, its kids are more obese than even the state averages. I think I have the solution: get rid of the government-sponsored school lunch progam and let the kids lose that excess weight. Naw, nevahappen!

But I'll accept the $6 million for my idea. Just send me the check c/o the Reader.

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