The number of obese children in San Diego County dropped 3.7 percent over a five-year period starting in 2005, according to a study released Thursday.
The drop was the largest of any county in Southern California, according to “A Patchwork of Progress: Changes in Overweight and Obesity Among California 5th, 7th, and 9th Graders, 2005-2010.”
The percentage of youth who were considered obese in San Diego County in 2005 was 35.8 percent, according to the report by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
In 2010, it was 34.5 percent but, because the overall population of tested students was larger the second time around, the authors of the study determined the decrease to be 3.7 percent.
“The most recent overweight and obesity prevalence data offers hope that the childhood obesity epidemic in California may finally have peaked,” according to the report.
Statewide, the obesity rate dropped 1.1 percent to about 38 percent.
Obesity rates, however, are three times higher for teenagers than 30 years ago, and four times higher for children 6 to 11 years old, according to the report.
The figures came from California Fitness Test results by students in fifth, seventh and ninth grades.