FSPH's Center for Health Policy Research study reveals unprecedented adult obesity rate

A statewide public health survey found that in 17 of 41 of California's counties, adult obesity rates are higher than the national average.


June 2015 report released by the Fielding School's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research was featured by UCLA Newsroom for finding that nearly one-quarter of California adults are obese as of 2011-12, up from 19.3 percent in 2001.

Dr. Joelle Wolstein, research scientist at the Fielding School's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and also Fielding School alumna (PHD, '15, Health Policy and Management), was quoted about how a combination of money, time and resources are needed to maintain a healthy diet, such the availability of local fresh produce or a safe place to exercise.

The research data comes from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the largest state health survey in the country. The ongoing research is conducted by the Fielding School's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Health Care Services, and it uses a random-dial telephone system to gather California resident responses to health-related questions.

The survey found that for other California age groups, such as adolescents ages 12 to 17, the obesity rate has remained relatively unchanged between 2001 and 2011-2. While California's adult obesity percentage is lower than the national average of 28 percent, 17 out of 41 counties in California are at or above this national average.