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Low-Income Adolescents Face More Barriers to Healthy Weight

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Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Theresa A. Hastert; Susan H. Babey; Allison L. Diamant; E. Richard Brown

Funder(s): California Endowment

Funder(s): California Endowment

Topic: Health (Health promotion)
Health (Food and nutrition)

Keywords: obesity; adolescents; California

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


In this policy brief, the authors examine why low-income teenagers are almost three times more likely to be obese than teens from more affluent households. Specifically, persistent barriers to health were found, including high numbers of neighborhood fast food restaurants, high sugary soda consumption and television viewing and low numbers of parks and other opportunities for physical activity. Among their recommendations, the authors urged city planners to consider zoning ordinances to regulate the number of fast–food restaurants while providing incentives to attract grocery and other stores that stock fresh fruits and vegetables. The authors also called for greater opportunities for physical activity and education, as well as campaigns to promote family dinners and discourage excessive television viewing.