Topic Score: 27.7
Wellness, physical activity, and nutrition are essential for children as they prepare for a healthy lifestyle and positive health outcomes as adults. The Child Health Topic includes three Indicators that measure different aspects of child health and wellness: childhood asthma emergency department visits, physical fitness, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipiency. The first Indicator measures asthma-related emergency department visits and is related to the environmental and housing conditions that affect children’s health. The second Indicator, physical fitness, a measure of student fitness levels assessed in schools, tracks physical aptitude and activity. The third Indicator, SNAP recipiency, shows whether families have adequate income to provide healthy food for their children.
Child Health had a Topic score of 27.7. There was a wide variety in the Indicator scores, with childhood asthma emergency department visits receiving the lowest possible score of 1 and physical fitness receiving the highest score in the Topic at 63. SNAP recipiency scored 19, indicating a large disparity between Latino and White Oaklanders’ food security.
Physical and Mental Health - Childhood Asthma Emergency Department Visits
We found that African American children had much higher rates of asthma-related emergency department visits (4,093.3 per 100,000), compared to White children (407.4 per 100,000). Asian children also had a very low rate (408.0 per 100,000). The rate for Latino children (1,134.0 per 100,000) was also lower than the citywide rate (1,658.0). African American children were 10.05 times more likely than White children to be admitted to the emergency department for asthma-related conditions.
Child Health - Physical Fitness
We found that in Oakland, Latino students were most likely to not be in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas (85.0%). African American students had a similar percent (82.6%). White students were least likely to not be in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas (58.8%), compared to 65.2% of Asian students. Students of other races had a smaller percent (68.5%) than the citywide percent (78.1%). Latino students were 1.45 times more likely than white students to not be in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas (African American students were 1.40 times more likely).
Child Health - SNAP Recipiency
Among Latino Oaklanders, 23.3% lived in households that received SNAP benefits, compared to 4.3% of White Oaklanders. Among African Americans, 18.6% lived in households that received SNAP, while the percent for Asians (11.6%) fell below the citywide percent (13.6%). Latinos were 5.44 times more likely than Whites to live in households that receive SNAP benefits.