Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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Nutrition and Fitness

Nutrition and fitness are fundamental components to maintaining personal health. It is especially important to establish good eating and exercise habits early in life, as 70% of overweight children are likely to be overweight as adults. Although Sacramento County student scores on the Physical Fitness Test have been fairly steady since the middle of the decade, body composition has declined in the last year with approximately 40% of students not having optimal body composition. Increased access to healthy food, walkable communities and parks to exercise are needed to maintain progress.

Health and Fitness

health 2a
health 2b

Why is this important?

  • Diabetes and other obesity/inactivity related diseases are increasing and appearing at an earlier age, leading to premature deaths.
  • Deaths attributable to inactivity and poor diet have increased by 33 percent over the last decade, and may overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death nationwide.

How are we doing?

  • Aerobic Capacity scores for Sacramento County school students (grades 5, 7, and 9) are fairly stable and have changed little since 2007-08.  About two-thirds of students scored in the healthy fitness zone and about one-third did not pass.
  • Body Composition scores in 2011-12 were much lower than previous years with approximately 40% not achieving a healthy weight.

Food Security

health 2e

Why is this important?

  • Individuals with limited means to purchase food are less inclined to emphasize nutrition – as opposed to volume – when making their food choices, leading them to eat a less healthy diet.
  • Research shows that a diet low in sugar and fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help reduce the risk of serious health problems and chronic diseases, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and many common cancers. Access to healthy, affordable foods is an important aspect of healthy eating. Unfortunately, healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables are often more expensive than less healthy options.

How are we doing?

  • The percent of individuals who are not able to afford enough food climbed rapidly between 2005 and 2011 (the last date for which data is available).
  • Applied to the population of Sacramento County, it is estimated that more than 550,000 individuals (of all ages) are not able to afford a sufficient supply of food.
  • Each year people and families who are food secure declines. In 2011, according to the California Health Inverview Survy, 44% of  Sacramento County residents were not able to afford enough food.


health 2h
health 2i

Why is this important?

  • Breastfeeding is associated with positive health outcomes for the child, such as reduced risk of asthma and respiratory conditions, certain childhood cancers, obesity, diabetes, and reduced risk of breast and other cancers in the mother.

How are we doing?

  • Nearly 70% of new mothers are choosing to breastfeed their babies exclusively in Sacramento County.
  • 90% of new mothers combined breastfeeding with other options.

Data Source: Percent of Students Scoring in the Healthy Fitness Zone from the California Department of Education

Data Source: Food Security from the California Health Interview Survey

Data Source for Breastfeeding from California Department of Public Health

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 14:17