You would think Bakersfield would be a very healthy city. It is pretty much the capital of the California’s bread basket. Carrots, corn, tomatoes, grapes, you name it they pretty much grow it in and around Bakersfield. Despite the plethora of farm fresh foods Bakersfield is not a healthy city. Bakersfield ranks #7 in national obesity rates. I can’t blame the city, there is a lot of good food in Bakersfield (Dewar’s is a personal favorite). Not only that, the city is kind of spread out and there isn’t really good public transportation. You might think I am just being down on the city but there is data to back me up. According to the California Center for Public Health and Advocacy44% of Bakersfield students are currently overweight.
Bakersfield however is a very resilient cityand it is making some really good strides to improve on their growing obesity problem. Spending a day in Bakersfield I was very happy to see some of the ways Bakersfield is tackling the weight problem. Early in the moring I took a run along the Kern river. I ran 10 miles, five miles out and back. Not only do they have an excellent running trail, I saw 5 parks along the way. That is a park for every mile!
As if visiting Bakersfield’s parks weren’t enough we just happened to be in town for the annual Bakersfield Health Fair. It was held at the Rabobank Theater. It was a fun fair. Not that big but it was free and there was lots of information given out.
AJ was really excited about the appearance of Curious George. AJ also enjoyed playing a giant Dance, Dance Revolution. As for me (John) I enjoyed reading all the information. I even got a basic health screening:
Blood Pressure 91/54: Heart Rate: 59 Cholesterol: 100 Blood Sugar (non-fasting): 90
Not too bad. I also got my feet checked out. Turns out my arches are a little low, but I was able to get some really good insoles (a REALLY early birthday present).
Overall, it was a good day. I learned a lot. I hope Bakersfield learned a lot too. Obesity is not something you really for which you want to be recognized nationally.