Thousands of school children in San Diego’s South Bay are healthier than they were earlier this decade. That’s according to new data released Monday by the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency.
“Chula Vista is showing the way,” said Nick Macchione, Director of the county agency.
In 2010, the CVESD and County partnered on “Live Well San Diego” to tackle an obesity problem in Chula Vista’s elementary schools.
“What we’re doing also is we’re enhancing the quality of life for these students,” said Dr. Francisco Escobedo, CVESD’s Superintendent.
District schools measured the Body Mass Index of its students and created a map highlighting school zones that had an obesity problem. Zones highlighted in red had more than 30% of its students in the obese category.
The extensive program then taught students, their families, and school employees how to eat and exercise better.
Six years later, Dr. Escobedo pointed at a new map where the “red zones” were gone.
“What we’re doing is transforming a whole community,” he said.
A press release from the CVESD touted a 7.4% increase in students in the “normal weight category,” an 8% decrease in students in the overweight category, and a massive 17.1% decrease in the obese category.
“When you look at these charts, it’s staggering,” said Machionne. “It takes communities decades, decades, and they did this is six years.”