Teacher Christian Ledesma leads his running group at P.S. 244, one of four schools to win a national fitness award.
City children have shed pounds faster than children anywhere else, according to five years of health data released today.
Mayor Bloomberg brought Chancellor Dennis Walcott and a team of commissioners and elected officials to P.S. 218 in the Bronx to announce, over the cafeteria salad bar, that obesity rates among elementary and middle school students have declined in the last half-decade. They touted an array of recent efforts to boost students' health.
But the Centers for Disease Control, which identified the trend, said it could not say that interventions in schools had driven the decline in obesity.
In the 2006-2007 school year, 21.9 percent of children in kindergarten through eighth grade were obese. Last year, that figure was 20.7 percent. In contrast, according to the CDC, children's obesity rates are stagnant nationally.
The decrease spanned all racial and economic groups, but obesity rates for black and Hispanic children fell by less, according to the CDC, which released the data in its weekly report today. And still, one in five New York City children is considered obese.