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Abstract

Obesity and inactivity have become a troubling crisis for today’s youth. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by these conditions, due to a denial of the benefits of safe open spaces for physical activity and opportunities to be active. The article describes the epidemic of obesity and unfitness in the United States and the statistics associated with inactivity, as well as the health impacts associated with being overweight and obese and the importance of physical activity. Along with the health implications, the trend in obesity is primed to carry huge direct and indirect financial costs. This health crisis is worse for low-income and communities of color due to social and economic disparities and inequities and the article exemplifies this a focus on California, where the districts with the highest proportion of overweight children also have the highest concentration of people of color. The article closes by addressing the need to lower the barriers to physical activity, articulate a campaign for active recreation spaces, and advocates correcting structural disparity and creating healthy communities with access to open space and fair treatment of all people.

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