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Capitol Corridor, Solano County
University of California
Capitol Corridor, Solano County

Children and Weight Coalition of Solano County

Welcome! The Children and Weight Coalition of Solano County (CWCSC) is an organization that began to form in the fall of 2001. Individuals from a variety of organizations and agencies came together to develop effective solutions to address the growing epidemic of overweight children.

The mission of the coalition is to improve the health and well-being of children and their families by creating an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles.

In 2003, the coalition was awarded a grant to develop a strategic plan. Eight community forums were held and 450 stakeholders attended and provided data for the Final Strategic Plan. A four-page Children & Weight Executive Summary was also developed. The plan was formally presented to the Solano County Board of Supervisors in June 2004.

Today, the Children and Weight Coalition of Solano County (CWCSC) continues to develop and implement effective solutions to address the growing epidemic of overweight children in Solano County. Using the talent and resources of the county and working with its communities, we are a collaboration of health professionals, schools, community organizations, and others interested in reducing childhood overweight in Solano County.

Preventing and treating childhood overweight is among the most important of the new health challenges that we face. We hope you will join us in helping our children and youth make healthy food choices and be more physically active Everyday!

Why are we so focused on Childhood Overweight and Obesity? Childhood overweight and physical inactivity have reached epidemic levels in the nation and California, including Solano County. Significant research indicates that excess weight and physical inactivity put our children at risk for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some cancers. Type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. Overweight and obesity are closely linked to type 2 diabetes. A child born in 2000 has a one in three chance of developing type 2 diabetes with the risk higher for Mexican American and African American children. Other serious problems associated with overweight in children are low self-esteem and poor body image.

Medical care costs associated with obesity are greater than those for both smoking and problem drinking combined. In California, the 2001 weight-related health costs for both adults and children was estimated at $14.2 billion a year.

How does Solano County compare with the rest of California? Solano County has a higher rate of overweight children and youth, ages 5 up to 20 years old, than the California rate. According to 2003 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance data, 17 percent of children 2 up to 5 years old are overweight with an additional 16.9 percent of children in this age group at risk of being overweight. For children and youth, 5 up to 20 years old, 24 percent are overweight and 18.2 percent are at risk of being overweight. The 2000 Healthy Kids Survey of 7th, 9th, and 11th graders in five school districts in the county indicated that a significant number of students were not eating fruits and vegetables, drinking milk, or getting adequate exercise.

A 2002 community assessment of health needs entitled Community Perceptions of Health Care Needs in Solano County reported that, for children, obesity, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise were among the health issues and needs that were of primary concern. According to 2001 California Health Interview Survey data, 23 percent of the adult population in Solano County is obese with Solano County having the highest adult obesity rate among the nine Bay Area counties.

What can we do in Solano County to create a healthy lifestyle? It is quite likely that children and adults will continue to become more overweight unless we make a concerted effort to create an environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Risk factors for childhood overweight that can be changed through effective community and school programs and changes in the environment include parenting styles, physical activity, television watching, and eating patterns, such as skipping meals. Families and communities lie at the foundation of influence and change.

To learn more about what you can do - keep checking this website for updated resources, upcoming events & activities, and continue checking the calendar for scheduled general meetings where we invite you and your family to come and learn about various health topics directly from the experts. We hope to see you back soon!

Webmaster Email: jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu