SAN PABLO (CBS SF) — San Pablo City Council members heard findings during their meeting Monday night from health authorities highlighting the growing problem of obesity throughout Contra Costa County.

Wendell Brunner, the county’s public health director, presented results of their newly released study revealing the health effects of sugary beverages on the residents of San Pablo, county health official Tracey Rattray said.

“We saw that San Pablo has higher rates of obesity than in other parts of the county and higher rates of chronic diseases associated with obesity, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes,” she said.

Meanwhile, the total number of overweight or obese school-age children countywide rose 3.5 percentage points to about 34 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to the study.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

Most alarmingly, Rattray said, the county’s health services department found that about 52 percent of San Pablo schoolchildren were overweight or obese, and more than 90 percent of residents live within a quarter-mile of a sugary beverage vendor.

“Everywhere you turn in San Pablo you can purchase a sugar-sweetened beverage, and it’s that kind of finding that we’d like to present at tonight’s meeting,” she said.

The study notes that low-income populations are especially vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese.

Rattray said that along with San Pablo, other areas in the county with high rates of overweight or obese children include Richmond, parts of Concord, Pittsburg and Antioch.

Yet, the county health services leader said she is encouraged that cities like San Pablo and Richmond are taking the initiative to learn more about the health problems plaguing their residents.

In addition to Monday’s presentation in San Pablo—which comes at the council’s request—county health officials are planning to show the results of the study to Richmond’s City Council next month, Rattray said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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