New York City Sees Decline in Obesity Rate for Kids

The obesity epidemic may be reversing course. A new report shows the obesity rates of school age children living in several major cities has dropped.

In New York City, the decline was 5.5 percent for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, between the 2006-2007 school year and the 2010-2011 school year, according to the report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says providing healthier options has been a major focus.

We've done a lot to improve the quality of food that's sold in schools, and get some of the junky food out of schools," he told WNYC's Amy Eddings. "We've done a lot to notify everybody about the risks of sugary drinks and try to drive down consumption of the sugary drinks which we think are really fueling the obesity epidemic."

The data shows there are still disparities, such as smaller declines in obesity rates among minorities, and low-income children. Commissioner Farley says the reasons why aren't exactly clear — but that the department is working to address them nonetheless.

Listen to Amy Edding's full interview with Commissioner Farley above.