Plenty of focus has been placed on the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. But it appears that in California the scales have tipped in the other direction—if only slightly.

According to researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, from 2005 to 2010, the number of overweight and obese children decreased by 1% after a consistent three-decade-long increase. The data was gathered from the California Physical Fitness Test, which is administered to California public school students. Student height and weight were used to determine body mass index and overweight and obesity rates. The report, which focused on fifth, seventh and ninth graders, is promising, but its authors warned that much more needs to be done.

“Although the leveling off of the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents statewide is encouraging, the increased rates of obesity and overweight in many areas of the state, as well as the continuing high rates across all counties, underscore the critical need for sustained obesity prevention efforts,” the authors advised.

To download the full report, visit www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/files/PatchworkStudy.pdf.