New statistics show drop in obesity

City leaders say programs encouraging healthy eating, exercise paying off

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SAN ANTONIO - New statistics show the San Antonio obesity has dropped and is now below the state average.

The obesity rate in San Antonio and Bexar County dropped from 35.1 percent in 2010 to 28.5 percent in 2012. 

That's according to data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance surveys that were conducted before and after the city implemented the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. 

To put it in a different perspective, about 70,000 people in our city are no longer obese and have reduced their risk for a multitude of diseases.

The city has put a big focus on programs that improve nutrition and physical activity since receiving a $15.6 million federal grant aimed at reducing obesity

City leaders believe it's a sign that programs encouraging healthy eating and exercising are paying off. 

"None of this could be possible without a great community-wide effort," said Mayor Julian Castro. 

"The results, I have to say, were surprising and invigorating to us in Public Health because they exceeded our expectations of what could happen and what actually did happen when you have an entire community working together," said Dr. Thomas Schlenker, Metro Health director.

It's not all good news, however.

Obesity rates increased among San Antonio seniors, from 31.1 percent in 2010 to 34.7 percent in 2012.

Also, 65 percent of adults in Bexar County are still overweight or obese.

Still, Castro said he believes San Antonio is on the right path.

"What you see is, little by little, San Antonio is getting more recognized for it's fitness efforts, more as a city that's heading towards being on those great lists of being a fit city and away from being on the bad list," he said.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.


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