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Childhood Obesity on the Decline in Several States and Cities

A front-page New York Times article last week shined a national spotlight of childhood obesity rate deductions across the country, with several states and cities reporting their first declines after decades of steady growth. As documented in a September 2012 brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), declines have been reported from California and Mississippi to New York City and Philadelphia—Philadelphia’s decline is seen as particularly notable given its groundbreaking success in reducing disparities in obesity rates. The RWJF brief notes that “growing evidence suggests that strong, far-reaching changes—those that make healthy foods available in schools and communities and integrate physical activity into people’s daily lives—are working to reduce childhood obesity rates.”