High rate of obese and overweight kids poses problems for SF

AP Photo/Jeff ChiuThis Wednesday

AP Photo/Jeff ChiuThis Wednesday

Most adults in The City are fit as fiddles when it comes to national averages, but the kids are overweight.

As families with children continue to flee expensive San Francisco, the children who remain continue to gain weight at an unhealthy rate.

One-third of The City’s children are overweight or obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That rate is similar to the national average and has stayed the same for about a decade.

Among San Francisco adults, 41.8 percent are overweight or obese, according to the California Health Interview Survey. That’s far lower than the CDC’s 69.2 percent nationwide figure.

But the obesity and overweight rate among kids bodes ill for their future.

A child who is overweight has a 63 percent chance of becoming an overweight adult, according to Christina Gupta, a senior health planner with the Department of Public Health.

The fat facts were revealed Wednesday during a City Hall hearing reviewing the toll on San Francisco caused by drinks with added sugar, which are being spotlighted as a key cause behind children’s inability to stay trim.

“Sugar is all over our food system,” said Gupta, who added that half of calories consumed from sugar come from sodas and other drinks.

In response, a number of elected officials are pushing forward with a proposal to tax sodas, energy drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages — which is drawing a sharp reaction from the California Beverage Association, a group that has successfully lobbied to defeat similar tax efforts in other cities.

Only one-fifth of The City’s kids drink one or more sugary drinks a day, according to a 2012 study from UCLA. That’s down from one in four in 2007.

But it still might be too much: Doctors recommend consumption of no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

That’s hard to do for soda drinkers, as one soda has 37 teaspoons of sugar, health officials said.

Diabetes, obesity and other harmful health conditions caused by soda consumption could cost San Francisco’s health system as much as $28 million a year, according to the Board of Supervisors’ legislative analyst.

And whether you drink soda or not, the drink’s effects are costing you: Lost productivity and other drains caused by sugary drinks ring up to $48.1 million per year, or about $58 per city resident.Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsobesityoverweightPoliticssoda tax

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City has struggled to conduct outreach in some neighborhoods as it works to expand Slow Streets — such as this section of Page Street in the Lower Haight — to underserved neighborhoods. <ins>(Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SFMTA delays vote on Bayview Slow Streets, approves five others in ‘underserved’ areas

SFMTA struggles to conduct outreach in neighborhoods with lower internet access

Stern Grove Festival organizers are planning to bring back the popular summer concert series — The Isley Brothers show in 2019 is pictured — with limited audience capacity. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Indoor shows won’t be flooding SF stages soon but Stern Grove might be back in June

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that live performances may resume… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto  (47) started on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 9, 2021. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants welcome fans back with strong performance by Cueto

By Ethan Kassel Special to S.F. Examiner ORACLE PARK — The first… Continue reading

James Harbor appears in court after he was arrested on charges in the July 4th shooting death of 6-year-old Jace Young on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Murder case heads to trial over killing of 6-year-old Jace Young

Hearing reveals new details in ‘horrific’ Fourth of July shooting

BART passengers may see more frequent service by this fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART service increases possible as soon as September

Proposal would double weekday, daytime trains and extend system operating hours

Most Read