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Letter: Poverty and Obesity

By

The New York Times , December 27, 2011

To the Editor:

A decline in overall obesity rates for New York City's children is good news ("Obesity Rate Dips for City Students, Offering Glint of Hope on Decades-Old Problem," SchoolBook, Dec. 16).

Sadly, rates for black and Hispanic children declined far less than those for white children, an indication that disparities still exist in impoverished communities with less access to fresh fruits and vegetables and safe recreation, smaller food budgets and a large number of fast-food restaurants.

Today, one in three New York children is obese or overweight and prone to developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. As these children grow up, New York State will spend an estimated $136.3 billion from 2011 to 2020 to treat diseases whose underlying cause is obesity.

We must continue to fight obesity in every community by engaging multiple sectors in creating policy, systems and environmental changes that make the healthy choice the easy choice for every New Yorker.

ANA GARCIA
Senior Policy Associate
The New York Academy of Medicine
New York, Dec. 22, 2011

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The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
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(212) 822-7285
gravosa@nyam.org

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